Get All Access for $5/mo

This Early-Stage Startup Connected with the Right VCs & Struck Gold Carmel Organics woos Ankur Capital to secure undisclosed Series A funding. What can other startups learn?

By Rahul R

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


With problem-solving being the key focus, entrepreneurs today are devising solutions that not just use technology-driven models in the societal scheme of things, but also ensure that people using these solutions are empowered technologically. A key sector that is believed by experts to reap maximum benefits out of these new-age aspects is agriculture.

This is substantiated when we consider the fact that startups working on agricultural solutions have mushroomed exponentially. They are also attracting the eye of venture capitalists (VCs) more than ever.

In this regard, an early-stage venture called Carmel Organics very recently wooed leading VC firm Ankur Capital to raise undisclosed Series A funds. The startup, with its focus on organic farming and farmers, grabs eyeballs considering the fact that it works closely with farmers and buys at premium prices their herbal produces.

The early-stage venture capital's focus on early-stage agriculture has led Ankur Capital to invest in two other agriculture-focussed startups AgricX and CropIn.

Carmel Organics that started in 2012 aims to help small farmers to earn more by growing herbs organically to supply premium quality herbal ingredients to the global market.

"We run our organic farming program and organise farming certifications at their farms free of cost," states Shailendra Dhakad who is the Founder and CEO at Carmel Organics that is headquartered at Madhya Pradesh. .

The Funding Journey – Solving Teething Issues of Agriculturists

Even though the early-stage venture has raised undisclosed capital as of now, its model appears to have attracted investors to pump-in funds. Dhakad states that it was the vision that connected the most with folks at Ankur Capital.

This is a clear instance of modern-day VCs who increasingly look at funding (and mentoring) ventures that are focussed at actually offering solutions to plaguing issues and to the sectors that deserve these most believes Dhakad.

"Agriculture sector is in need of a systematic overhaul. Despite half of India's workforce deployed in this sector, the contribution to GDP is mere 16% and growth at 2%," states, Saurabh Kumar who is Co-Founder at Maharashtra-based Agritech startup Agricx Labs, independently to Entrepreneur India.

Saurabh's statement is also an indicator about the need for a technology-aided overhaul of the Indian agricultural scheme of things.

At this juncture, it is also worth noting that Saurabh's Agricx Labs also recently raised $500,000 in seed funds from Ankur Capital along with another mentor. Ankur's strong focus on agriculture mentoring also becomes clear.

As far as Carmel Organics is concerned, Ankur Capital was the only investor having pumped-in VC funds to the startup.

Another aspect that Dhakad highlighted was his end-to-end integration technique applicable to medicinal herbs that was also instrumental in getting Ankur Capital to invest.

"We resort to end to end integration of medicinal herbs. We are involved in sourcing, processing, and distribution of premium herbal ingredients," adds Dhakad.

Mentoring Guidance – For New Entrants

Taking the viewpoint of new startups in the agritech space, Dhakad advises owners to go in for incubation as the governments across the country are helpful to entrepreneurs in all aspects right from starting out till expansion and funding.

"So much support is coming these days from government and international agencies," exclaims Dhakad.

Rahul R

Former Staff

Rahul R is a media professional with over 6 years of experience. Prior to Entrepreneur India, Rahul was a Senior Technical Journalist at EFY digital magazine. 
Business News

Wells Fargo Reportedly Fired More Than a Dozen Employees for Faking Keyboard Activity

The bank told Bloomberg that it "does not tolerate unethical behavior."


The Key to Real Innovation Is Cross-Pollination — Here Are 10 Ways to Implement It in Your Business

Transform your business with this unique approach to sparking innovation.

Growth Strategies

AMD Confident About Increasing Market Share In India

The semiconductor company is positive about the business environment in India on the back of growing investments in data centers and AI, Cloud repatriation, as well as technology refresh taking place across companies on both server side and client devices

Side Hustle

These Are the 10 Best Online Side Hustles of 2024 to Earn Extra Cash

From teaching to testing artificial intelligence, these side hustles can earn you quick cash from home.


7 Ways You Might Be Damaging Your Credibility as an Entrepreneur

Here are seven credibility killers entrepreneurs need to be aware of.


Tech Overload Will Destroy Your Customer Relationships. Are You Guilty of Using Too Much Tech?

Technology's value in our world is undeniable. However, there can be a point where it is ineffective and possibly counterproductive. See where it can negatively impact your product, brand, and business.