Read more from Author Rachel Maga here: https://globelivemedia.com/author/rachel-maga/
India’s agritech startups, once overlooked, are beginning to attract attention.
On January 19, Indian firm DeHaat, an online platform that provides farmers with full-stack farming services, $ 30 million in a new funding round to sustain its growth, accelerating despite pandemics Announced that it has raised (about 3.12 billion yen).
Prosus Ventures (formerly known as Naspers Ventures) led a Series C funding round for the Patna and Gurgaon-based startup. RTP Global and existing investors Sequoia Capital India, FMO, Omnivore and AgFunder have also participated in the funding round, with the startup raising more than $ 46 million to date. (It was Dexter Capital who worked as an advisor for this funding round).
One of the biggest challenges facing Indian farmers is finding buyers after harvesting and securing agricultural essentials such as seeds and fertilizers.
DeHaat, which means “village” in Hindi, is trying to solve this problem by bringing together brands, institutional investors and buyers on one platform. Access to the platform can be done through the help desk or an app in the local language.
According to industry estimates, only about one-third of Indian farmers’ yields are shipped to large markets. Previously, farmers found it very difficult to find buyers for their produce.
At the end of the harvest, DeHaat helps farmers market their crops to bulk buyers such as marketplace Udaan, Reliance Fresh, and food delivery company Zomato.
Founded 10 years ago, De Haat has also developed a database of crop inspections, providing farmers with free personalized advice on what to sow in a season using artificial intelligence. DeHaat also helps farmers secure working capital through partnerships with a number of institutional investors.
We wrote an article in 2020 when DeHaat made a $ 12 million round of funding. The company’s growth has continued to accelerate, despite the pandemic of the new coronavirus that has pushed the nation into lockdown many times over the past nine months.
The startup is currently present in states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Audisha and West Bengal in eastern India. Shashank Kumar, co-founder and chief executive officer of the company, said in an interview that the number of supported farmers, which was about 210,000 as of April 2020, has now increased to nearly 400,000. I’m telling TechCrunch.
The way the company tackles these challenges is also impressive. In rural areas, the number of micro-entrepreneurs undertaking the task of delivering more than 4000 types of agricultural essentials from regional hubs to farmers and, conversely, bringing their products back to the same hub, will increase from about 400 to nearly 1,400 in 2020. Is increasing. “They are in charge of last mile delivery and pickup,” Kumar said.
He says DeHaat continues to grow in all respects, including sales, which have tripled to 3.5 times since 2020.
“The daily shipment at the end of March 2020 was about 200 tonnes. Now it is over 600 tonnes. Every day, we collect that much crop from farmers, FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) companies and modern We supply retailers as well. Similarly, agricultural necessities, such as seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, process nearly 10,000 orders daily, compared to about 2,600 in March 2020. ” Say.
“Prosus Ventures is investing in industries around the world where innovation can meet the great needs of society,” said Ashutosh Sharma, head of investment in India at Prosus Ventures.
“De Haat is trying to meet the demands of the Indian agricultural sector, which has a value of more than $ 350 billion in the Indian economy and is made up of an estimated 140 million or more farmers. DeHaat increases the income potential of Indian farmers by providing end-to-end agricultural services, improving the overall yield of the Indian agricultural sector, while at the same time reducing income opportunities Supporting micro-enterprises across the country, including rural areas, could have a significant social impact on India, “he added.
DeHaat plans to invest newly raised funds to expand to more states in India, including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, and ultimately serve 10 million farmers doing.
Another area the company wants to focus on is hiring top technicians. Startups have doubled their hiring since 2020, and many are attracting a lot of attention from major companies. Kumar of DeHaat, who made its second acquisition recently, said the company is also open to exploring further M & A opportunities.
Formerly neglected agritech startups have emerged in India in recent years, and many existing startups are beginning to receive large checks from investors.
[Additional Information]Omnivore and Accel have recently co-authored a report on the outlook for Agritech in India.
Around two dozen #agritech startups have raised funds this year (till date)
Farmers Fresh Zone
— Harsh Upadhyay (@upadhyay_harsh1) October 13, 2020
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life’s biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.