Once ignored, agritech startups are beginning to have a moment in India.
On Tuesday, DeHaat, an online scaffold that offers full-stack agricultural services to farmers, said it has raised $ 30 million in a brand-new financing round as the Indian firm gapes to maintain its intensified raise despite the pandemic.
Prosus Ventures, formerly known as Naspers Ventures, headed Patna and Gurgaon-based startup’s Series C financing round. RTP Global and existing investors Sequoia Capital India, FMO, Omnivore and AgFunder too participated in it, returning the startup’s to-date conjure to over $46 million.( Dexter Capital was the advisor for this funding round .)
One of the biggest challenges farmers in India face is sticking agri-input components such as grains and fertilizers and then finding purchasers after growing the yields.
DeHaat, which is Hindi for hamlet, is solving this by bringing labels, institutional financers and customers to one pulpit, that is available through a helpline and an app in local languages.
Only about a third of the provides Indian farmers render contacts the big-hearted sells, according to industry calculates. It’s traditionally proven vastly difficult for farmers to find buyers for their produce.
The 10 -year-old startup has also developed a database of cultivate tests and uses artificial intelligence to provide farmers with free-of-cost personalized advisory on what they should sow in a season. DeHaat likewise cures farmers self-assured working capital through partnership with hundreds of institutional firms.
We wrote about DeHaat last year, where reference is had raised a $12 million financing round. The past nine months has been the history of its intensified rise despite the coronavirus pandemic, which elicited lockdowns across the nation for several months.
The startup, which today has presence in eastern part of India — states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal — serves close to 400,000 farmers, up from about 210,000 in April last year, Shashank Kumar, co-founder and chief executive of the startup, told TechCrunch in an interview.
How the startup is tackling these challenges is equally affecting. It is in contact with nearly 1,400 micro-entrepreneurs, up from about 400 last year, in rural areas who give over 4,000 types of agri-input goods to farmers from their regional centres and then bring back the output to the same hub. “They are the ones responsible for last-mile delivery and aggregation, ” he said.
DeHaat has grown on every front, including the revenue it clocks, which is up 3X to 3.5 X since last year, he said.
“At the end of March, our daily volume out was around 200 metric tonne. Now it’s over 600 metric tonne. Everyday we aggregate this much from farmers and supply to FMCG participates and modern retails. Similarly on the agri-input side — seed, fertilizers, and pesticide — we are processing close to 10,000 tells everyday, compared to about 2,600 in March of last year, ” he said.
“Prosus Ventures invests in manufactures around the world where innovation can significantly address large-hearted societal needs, ” said Ashutosh Sharma, Head of India Investment at Prosus Ventures, in a statement.
“DeHaat is gratifying to a massive market in India with the agriculture sector worth more than $ 350 billion to the country’s economy and consisting of an estimated 140 million+ farmers. Through its end-to-end agricultural services offerings, DeHaat will have a major societal impact in India, improving the making potential for Indian farmers and overall harvest for the sector while also enabling microentrepreneurs all over the country, including in rural areas where there is often less income opportunity, ” he added.
The startup plans to deploy the fresh asset to expand to more states in India including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra and eventually serve 10 million farmers.
And another area where it intends to focus is hiring top tech talent. The startup has double-dealing its personnel since the last year, with numerous high-profile hires from major conglomerates. The startup, which recently induced its second acquisition, is also open to exploring more M& A possibilities, said DeHaat’s Shashank Kumar.
Around two dozen #agritech startups have raised monies this year( till appointment)
ErgosUnnati BijakDeHaatNinjacartGourmet GardenFarmers Fresh ZoneKrishitantra KheytiBigHaatVeGrowProcolAgro2oWaycoolJai KisanIntello LabsCrofarmEggozAibonoAryaCloverKisan Network
— Harsh Upadhyay (@ upadhyay_harsh1) October 13, 2020
Further reading: Omnivore and Accel recently co-authored a report on India’s agritech landscape.
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