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The Down-to-earth Founders Co-founders of B2B fruits marketplace startup Vegrow come from agricultural backgrounds and have spent a lot of time in fields

By S Shanthi

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(L-R) Kiran Naik, Shobhit Jain, Shobhit Jain, co-founders, Vegrow

The founders of Vegrow, an agritech startup that recently raised Series C funding led by GIC, believe that the company they have created today is very different from what it was when they started it four years ago. "These four years have been of high-quality execution, four successful fundraises, experiments, failures and some great business models," said Shobhit Jain, co-founder, Vegrow.

What makes the IITians and the co-founders of the company, 34-year-old Jain, 34-year-old Praneeth Kumar, 33-year-old Kiran Naik (and Mrudhukar Batchu, another co-founder, not featured here) stand out is that they all come from agricultural backgrounds and have spent decent time in fields. This perfect combination of hands-on farming experience and knowledge of tech makes them the ideal agritech founders that investors can bet on. "We all are passionate about solving for farmers and the large agriculture ecosystem," added Jain.

Backed by notable investors such as Matrix Partners, Elevation Capital, Prosus and Lightspeed, Vegrow is a B2B fruits marketplace that works towards maximizing farmers' income, by accurately grading produce and efficiently matching it with the most suitable demand channel. This, founders say, creates a virtuous cycle, attracting more farmers through competitive pricing as well as more buyers, who seek consistency in both price and quality.

Talking about Vegrow's USP, Praneeth Kumar said, "What makes us unique is the multi-channel approach that helps us optimize price realization. The multi-channel demand stack and use of technology for efficiently matchmaking demand-supply leads to a virtuous cycle attracting more farmers through competitive pricing as well as more buyers, who seek consistency in both price and quality."

Geographical expansion and going deeper into the existing channels are the major focus areas for the founders today. "We are in a very big (USD 50 Bn +) market which is growing!

Global expansion is part of the overall strategy. However, India will continue to be a key actor in global trade as well. In fact, we were one of the largest exporters of bananas to the Middle East from India last year," said Kiran Naik.

The company grew almost 5X in FY23 compared to last year and is today operationally profitable. "What we also pride ourselves on is the stellar team built with veterans from the industry and the experts from digital fast-growing companies. We believe we have the recipe with us. What we need to do now is just execute and deliver sustainable growth," said Jain.

FACT SHEET

  • No. of co-founders - 4
  • Shobhit Jain, Co-founder (34); Praneeth Kumar, Co-founder (34); Kiran Naik, Co-founder (33)
  • No. of employees - 556
  • Year of inception - 2020
  • External Investors - GIC, Prosus, Matrix, Elevation, Lightspeed, Ankur and a few angels
S Shanthi

Former Senior Assistant Editor

Shanthi specializes in writing sector-specific trends, interviews and startup profiles. She has worked as a feature writer for over a decade in several print and digital media companies. 

 

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