How This Agritech Startup Is Creating a 'Fresh' Avenue
Otipy, an agritech startup, brings fresh produce from farms to consumers within 12 hours of harvest
"My first business experience with fruits and vegetables was at Grofers, where I was the CTO. What makes this category very unique is its perishability. Unlike traditional grocery items, stocking fruits and vegetables is a very risky proposition. After leaving Grofers, when I spent some time at the farms, I realized there were additional gaps in the supply chain from farm to consumers. Wastages are high for this category, which results in a huge price markup between the price that a farmer gets and what a consumer pays," said Varun Khurana, founder and CEO of Otipy, an agritech startup.
The company started out as a B2B model to solve the supply chain problems of fresh fruits and vegetables and finally pivoted to a B2B2C model. The aim is to ensure produce reaches consumers in just 12 hours from the time of harvest, maintaining the freshness. "We procure fruits and vegetables directly from farmers and then with the help of local community leaders that work with us as delivery partners/resellers, we do the doorstep delivery to the consumers."
The startup has been able to bring down the wastage in the supply chain from 40 per cent to three per cent through state-of-the-art procurement, distribution and delivery technology leveraging proprietary predictive algorithms. "We provide better quality / freshness at a lower price. The reason we are able to offer a lower price is that we save on wastages in the supply chain."
The geography and climate are of utmost importance in this particular sector. The demand and prices vary as per the change of seasons, throughout a month as well on different days of the week. "We essentially researched to understand the buying cycle of customers for different products. Different factors are analyzed to understand their impact on demand variance such as temperature and weather, delivery location, deals and marketing campaigns etc."
In India, agritech is a century old industry. Within two years of launch, Otipy has established its business as an online supplier of fresh fruits and vegetables in the entire Delhi/NCR region. "Today we are majorly competing in an unorganized segment which comprises street vendors and fruits and vegetables sellers. The key challenge for us would be to build customer trust in their fruit and vegetable buying which today is largely driven by touch and feel today."
The startup has raised two rounds of funding, Series A under which it raised $10.2 million led by SIG in July 2021 and Series B under which it raised $32 million by Westbridge Capital in March 2022. The platform is close to locking its series C funding.