Agritech Startup Leads Connect Raises $62.5 Mn From BL Agro The funding will be utilized for technology advancement, increased reach among farmers, FPO, and co-operatives, among other things
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Full-stack agritech startup Leads Connect today announced that it has raised INR 500 crores ($62.5 Million) from BL Agro Industries Ltd, a FMCG company, with an aim to enhance its agro-tech stack that would provide more value to farmers.
The funding from BL Agro in Leads Connect would be spread over a period of three years leading to a controlling stake by India's leading FMCG firm. Leads Connect specializes in farm analytics and advisory through agritech-driven data analytics and modelling, crop-cutting experiments, risk management, financial services (farmer loans), and procurement from farmers.
The funding will be utilized by Leads Connect towards technology advancement, increasing reach among farmers, FPO, and co-operatives, and expanding the beneficiary farmer base through the establishment of AGRANI Centres in various cities, running awareness generation campaigns, mergers & acquisitions, contract farming, and investment in research for deeptech and AI/ML in agriculture as well as to improve quality procurement and supply chain cycle for BL Agro.
Started in 2009 by Navneet Ravikar, Leads Connect has been working on improving market linkages and would provide more value to BL Agro by offering superior supply chain management as a part of the new initiative. BL Agro aims to leverage Leads Connect seamless farm value chain solution transcending farm advisory, fintech intervention and market linkage creating deep connect with the farmers. The startup believes that the coming together of BL Agro and Leads Connect will help farmers get closer to the buyers thereby getting them better prices and market for their quality produce with control over good quality and the right price.
Commenting on the investment, Navneet Ravikar, chairman and managing director, Leads Connect Services, said, "With agritech at the forefront, Indian agriculture is at an inflection point. Agriculture contributes to almost 20% of India's GDP and changing weather patterns and challenges around sustainability has been challenging the industry. It is time for agri-tech to play a larger role to increase productivity and mitigate the crisis for farmers. Our partnership with BL Agro will help us to expand agri-tech and agri-fintech in the country and bring in more value to Indian farmers."
Welcoming the association, Ashish Khandelwal, Managing Director, BL Agro said, "We are delighted to announce our strategic investment in Leads Connect aimed at creating a new chapter in the Indian agri-tech industry. Over the next three years, we would be investing Rs.500 crore leading to a controlling stake in Leads Connect. The synergies of BL Agro and Leads Connect will help Indian farmers get more value by improving market linkages. We hope that this association will help farmers get closer to the consumers with better supply chain management."