5 Indian Data-Driven Agritech Startups To Watch For In 2021
From farm to fork, agritech startups have been trying to solve pain points at various levels, which conventional farming failed to address
The Indian agriculture sector over the years has gradually opened its arms and embraced technology. Considered one of the most backward and technology-resistant sectors of this country, farmers have now brought down the wall of skepticism towards technology post understanding what cutting-edge technology has to offer. Though the government and big corporates have done their share to equip farmers with technology, it is the startups which have been the driving force of technology penetration in farming.
From farm to fork, agritech startups have been trying to solve pain points at various levels, which conventional farming failed to address.
According to a Nasscom report in 2019, there were more than 450 startups in the agritech space in the country. Undoubtedly, these numbers have only gone up in two years, as this space has slowly matured, with a pool of investors pumping in funds. Media reports suggest that even during the pandemic year, the agritech sector saw a 11.9 per cent growth in interest from investors in terms of funding.
Here is a look at five such agritech startups which are using cutting-edge technology such as artificial intelligence and the Internet-of-Things, among others.
Fasal is a Bengaluru-based agritech startup which has an app for horticulture farmers. The app lets farmers plan, monitor and analyze all activities on their farms in a simple and intuitive way. Pruning, sowing, spraying, fertilization, irrigation, harvesting, crop sale and all other activities are managed with the help of the app.
The startup also provides Fasal Sense, an IoT sensor device, once installed can continuously monitor farm data. After collecting the data, the startup relies on artificial intelligence and data science to calculate on-farm predictions about disease, pests and recommendations on the farmer's phone in different languages.
The startup was founded in 2018 by Ananda Verma and Shailendra Tiwari, and has raised $1.6 million in seed funding from Omnivore and Wavemaker Partners in 2019.
Gurugram- and Patna-based agritech platform DeHaat offers an online marketplace to farmers. It is a technology-based platform, which offers full-stack agricultural services to farmers, including distribution of high-quality agri inputs, customized farm advisory, access to financial services and market linkages for selling their produce. Currently, the startup—founded by IIT-Delhi alumni Shashank Kumar and IIT-Kharagpur alumni Manish Kumar in 2012—oparets in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal, and serves 350,000 farmers at present. The startup has recently raised $30 million in its Series C round led by Prosus Ventures and has also acquired another agritech startup FarmGuide.
Bengaluru-based Clover is a greenhouse agritech startup which focuses on demand-led cultivation. Founded by four childhood friends Avinash BR, Gururaj Rao, Arvind Murali and Santhosh Narasipura, Clover partners with farmers across India and markets premium quality, branded, greenhouse-grown fresh produce through B2B and B2C channels. The startup has raised $5.5 million in Series A round from Accel, Omnivore and Mayfield amid the pandemic.
The startup has also forayed into the D2C market by launching its new brand Deep Rooted.co in 2021. Deep Rooted.Co aims to create a balance between farmers and consumers by building transparency and trust among them. The company has an omnichannel presence and caters to a growing $100-billion fruits and vegetable market by delivering fresh, clean and residue-free produce in less than 24 hours.
Bengaluru-based CropIn is an artificial intelligence and data-led agritech organization. Founded in 2010 by Krishna Kumar and Kunal Prasad, CropIn data-driven farming solutions enable agri-enterprises and growers to maximize per-acre value. The startup's SmartFarm helps farmers and other stakeholders to improve productivity, efficiency, sustainability and predictability of their crop chains. The platform further helps to maintain food safety standards which are usually neglected in conventional farming. Its SmartRisk platform after collecting data claims to provide a high prediction accuracy.
The startup has till date impacted 13 million acres and four million farmers through both its platforms. The startup recently raised $20 million in Series C round led by ABC World.
This Gurugram-based Intello Labs—founded in 2016 by Milan Sharma, Nishant Mishra, Himani Shah and Devendra Chandani—offers quality assessment of food commodities using artificial intelligence, deep technology and computer vision. Apart from India, the company is looking at opportunities in China, Southeast Asia and the US. Few of the clients of the startup are Reliance Fresh, Dole, Ocean Spray, and leading e-grocery companies in China and Southeast Asia. The startup has also raised $5.9 million in Series A round led by Saama Capital.