• Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

21 Agritech Startups Disrupting Agricultural Landscape In India

India has historically been at the forefront of global agricultural productivity, given the vast agro-ecological diversity the country has been blessed with. 

According to statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, India is the largest producer of milk, jute and pulses and the second-largest producer of rice, wheat, sugarcane, cotton, groundnuts and fruit and vegetables.

While agriculture came to India thousands of years ago, it was the Green Revolution led by agricultural scientist MS Swaminathan that supercharged the country’s farm sector.

Today, with the emergence of the agritech space, India is standing on the cusp of a fourth revolution. Imperative to mention that the country’s agritech ecosystem is a juggernaut in the making. Having embraced IoT-enabled agricultural practices to now AI-enabled machines and tech, this burgeoning sector is writing the next chapter of the country’s farm story.

As tech penetration continues to rise through one of the world’s largest agricultural industries, Indian agritech startups are sitting on multi-billion-dollar opportunities. In fact, according to an EY report, India’s agritech startups are looking at a total market opportunity worth $24 Bn by 2025. And this potential is also being recognised by Indian and global investors, as these startups have secured more than $2.4 Bn since 2014, as per Inc42’s analysis.

The fourth agricultural revolution is at India’s doorstep, ready to disrupt the world’s food basket. With that said, we have compiled a list of some of India’s noteworthy agritech startups, showcasing the innovative strides they are making in transforming the agricultural landscape.

(Note: We have listed Indian agritech startups in alphabetical order. The list is not meant to be a ranking of any kind and will be updated from time to time.)

Agritech Startups In India

1. AgroStar

Founded by Shardul Sheth and Sitanshu Sheth in 2013, AgroStar offers an app and interactive voice response-based agriculture solutions to farmers. 

The startup has built a multilingual content-led commerce platform for farmers, who can use its mobile application to read and watch agronomy content, post pictures of their crop problems to get advice, interact with fellow farmers and use voice search to look for agri products and transact on the platform. 

It claims to be India’s largest digital farmer network and agri-inputs platform, which serves over 5 Mn farmers across Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. 

Since its inception, the startup has raised more than $111 Mn from a host of investors, including Aavishkaar Bharat Fund, Accel India, and Bertelsmann, among others. The Pune-based startup’s net loss zoomed 89% to INR 141.7 Cr in FY22 from INR 74.8 Cr in the previous fiscal year despite a rise in its top line.

2. BigHaat

Founded by Raj Kancham, Sachin Nandwana and Sateesh Nukala in 2015, BigHaat is a farmer-centric digital marketplace, which offers technical guidance and accessibility to a wide range of high-quality inputs to farmers.

It is a full-stack data-based platform, which sources data through 7-8 channels to monitor consumer behaviour, sales patterns and cropping patterns. The data helps BigHaat analyse and predict how much produce will be generated by a particular farmer and how it will be affected by other external factors such as pests and weather patterns. 

The startup, which counts JM Financial, Ankur Capital and BlackSoil as its investors, claims to have onboarded more than 4 Mn farmers. The startup has so far secured more than $13.4 Mn in total funding.

3. BharatAgri

India’s agricultural revolution has employed more scientific methodologies to boost crop yields, yet smaller farmers often struggle to access agritech innovations.

To address this issue, Siddharth Dialani and Sai Gole launched the ecommerce platform BharatAgri in 2017. The startup provides AI-based agronomy services designed to help farmers achieve higher yields.

BharatAgri’s ecommerce portfolio includes over 1 Lakh agricultural products, such as fertilisers, seeds, pesticides, insecticides, and farming equipment. These products are delivered across more than 20,000 pin codes in India, aiding farmers in increasing their incomes through systematic scientific farming techniques.

In October 2023, BharatAgri raised $4.3 Mn in a Series A funding round led by Arkam Ventures, with participation from Capria Ventures and existing investors such as India Quotient, 021 Capital, and Omnivore.

4. CropIn

CropIn is a SaaS-based agritech platform, which helps farm-to-fork businesses digitise their operations and improve their decision-making process by providing real-time data and insights. 

Founded by Krishna Kumar and Kunal Prasad in 2010, CropIn claims to have partnered with over 250 organisations across the globe, helped them digitise more than 16 Mn acres of farms and impacted the livelihood of nearly 7 Mn farmers, according to its website.

The startup helps farmers with advisories and suggests best practices for using water efficiently, including the kind of seeds that should be used. 

Cropin also helps predict weather patterns and build early warning systems to warn farmers about factors such as fluctuations in the cost of fertilisers and complaints of infestations.

In 2018, the Karnataka government partnered with CropIn to start a programme to help farmers create more value for their crops and foster their socio-economic development. 

5. DeHaat

Founded by Shashank Kumar in 2012, DeHaat offers end-to-end agricultural services to farmers, including distribution of high-quality agri inputs, customised farm advisory, access to financial services, and market linkages for selling their produce.

The startup claims that since inception, it has served over 2 Mn farmers across 11 states in India through its digital network of over 11,000 ‘DeHaat Centres’. 

The startup boasts a network of over 1,500 stock-keeping units and delivers more than 15,000 orders per day to more than 15 countries. So far, DeHaat has secured more than $270 Mn in total funding from Peak XV Partners, Sofina Ventures and other investors. Recently, the startup acquired the fruit export business of Freshtrop Fruits in an all-cash deal.  

6. Eeki Foods 

Founded by IIT Bombay graduates Abhay Singh and Amit Kumar in 2018, Eeki Foods aims to make farming sustainable and climate-proof with the use of its growing chambers. These chambers provide plants with the ideal conditions to grow. 

The startup makes use of its homegrown technology, which controls the farm’s climate, allowing vegetables to be grown all year without being affected by seasonal variations. 

According to the startup, this technology helps in ensuring that the nutrient solutions deployed to the roots of the plants are continuously recirculated till all the water has been used up. Eeki claims that this allows crops to grow with 80% less water compared to traditional methods. 

The agritech startup is backed by names such as Avaana Capital, Better Capital and Icebreaker VC. The company secured $6.5 Mn last year, to scale across hundreds of acres, expand its team, and invest in technology.

7. Ergos

Established in 2012 by Kishor Kumar Jha and Praveen Kumar, Ergos offers farmers a nine-month storage service for their harvest. Moreover, the platform provides credit for up to 70% of the stored grains.

It connects farmers to potential buyers, provides secure warehouse storage for grains and facilitates affordable financial solutions via partnering lenders. According to the startup, this approach helps farmers to transform their produce into digital assets that can be traded. 

At present, the startup claims to be aiding over 1.6 Lakh farmers through its platform, boasting a vast Grainbank network of warehouses in over 200 locations across Bihar, Karnataka and Maharashtra. It also claims to have assisted farmers in boosting their annual income by 30-35% over the years.

According to Inc42’s findings, the startup has secured more than $23 Mn in four rounds. It counts Aavishkaar Capital, Chiratae Ventures, Trifecta Venture Debt Fund and Abler Nordic as its investors.

In September last year, the startup secured $10 Mn through a mix of equity and debt in its Series B funding round led by Abler Nordic. 

8. FarMart

Launched by Alekh Sanghera and Mehtab Singh Hans in 2016, Farmart operates as a micro SaaS-led agritech platform, which helps large food businesses source quality produce by using its network of agri-retailers.

It makes use of tech and data to source at scale and uses under-utilised assets in the food value chain to build a high-growth and contribution margin profitable business. 

Since its inception, the startup has raised more than $44 Mn. It counts Omidyar Network India, Avaana Capital, 500 Startups and Matrix Partners India as its investors. 

The startup’s output linkage offerings, disseminated through its app users, now extend to over 600 districts. 

The startup also has a mobile application, SaudaBook, which aims to facilitate the digitisation of the entire workflow for food processors. 

9. Farmtheory

Established in 2019 by Arpit Agarwal and Sakshi Agarwal, Farmtheory is an innovative agri-waste management startup committed to mitigating waste at its source, empowering farmers to enhance their income, mitigate food loss, and combat climate change.

With a dual focus on elevating farm yields and delivering premium ingredients to commercial kitchens, Farmtheory has successfully onboarded over 3,000 partner farmers and served more than 1,500 kitchens to date.

Looking ahead, the company aims to expand its partner network and geographical reach, extending the benefits of its pioneering model to numerous farmer communities nationwide.

Recently, Farmtheory secured seed funding of $1.45 Mn (around INR 12 Cr) from Merak Ventures. The startup said that the funds would be deployed to scale up its operations, expand its supply arm, and enhance its tech infrastructure. It also plans to reach out to more farmers, ensuring a robust and sustainable source of produce.

10. Fasal

Established in 2018 by Shailendra Tiwari and Ananda Verma, Fasal operates as a precision horticulture platform. It facilitates resource optimisation (water, pesticides, etc.) and enhances farm productivity, all while ensuring the procurement of high-quality, traceable produce. 

The agritech startup orchestrates an end-to-end optimised value chain by leveraging AI, crop sciences, and IoT to offer farm-level, crop-specific, and crop-stage-specific intelligence.

Fasal has secured more than $17 Mn in total funding to date and counts ITI Growth Opportunities Fund, Navam Capital, 3one4 Capital, Omnivore, Wavemaker Partners and Genting Ventures as its investors.  

Last month, the startup secured $12 Mn funding in a Series A funding round led by TDK Ventures and British International. The company plans to use the proceeds to scale its B2B brand Fasal Fresh and expand its India and Southeast Asia operations.

It also aims to invest money in developing its proprietary farm IoT-crop intelligence technology and developing a carbon-negative horticulture value chain.

11. Fyllo

While farming has traditionally been a labour-intensive endeavour, advancements in new equipment have been making farmers’ lives easier. However, a significant challenge remains — the lack of proper education on using these machines, leaving farmers uncertain about their precise application.

To address this issue, Sudhanshu Rai and Sumit Sheoran founded Fyllo in 2019. This Bengaluru-based company provides both software and hardware products designed to assist farmers with precision farming solutions.

Fyllo’s hardware solutions, Nero and Kairo, are installed on farms to collect data on soil, climate, and crop canopy, which is then sent to the Fyllo server. Utilising this data, the company’s software products deliver live farm data, irrigation and fertiliser scheduling, disease and pest predictions, and weather forecasts.

Since its inception, Fyllo has raised $6 Mn in funding and claims to support over 8,000 farmers, boosting their income by 30%. In its B2B business vertical, the company’s clientele includes notable names such as Dhanuka, Iffco Kisan, Euro Fruits, and Mahindra Agri Solutions, among others.

12. Gramophone

Founded in 2016 by Tauseef Khan, Nishant Vats, and Harshit Gupta, Gramophone is an Indore-based full-stack agritech platform. It facilitates activities ranging from sourcing raw materials to warehousing. 

The startup sells agri inputs like seeds, fertilisers, nutrients, pesticides and farming equipment. It also provides standalone services such as warehousing and inventory management.

The startup additionally assists farmers by offering crop advisory and weather information. Simultaneously, it provides agronomic intelligence and solutions to farmers through image recognition, soil science, smart crop selection, and personalised information-led cropping systems. 

The startup has secured close to $19 Mn in total funding across five rounds. It is backed by investors like Info Edge, Z3 Partners, Asha Impact and Siana Capital. 

Last year, Info Edge announced that it would increase its stake in the company by investing  INR 9.3 Cr ($1.1 Mn) in Gramophone’s parent Agstack Technologies

13. Intello Labs

Launched by Milan Sharma, Nishant Mishra Himani Shah and Devendra Chandan in 2016, the Gurugram-based startup uses AI and image recognition tools to perform grading and quality checks of agri products.

The startup manufactures several sorting, grading and packaging machines, which eliminate manual labour at various steps of agricultural production and streamline the process. For instance, Intello Labs manufactures IntelloFlow, an all-in-one machine which weighs, packs and labels agricultural goods. 

Other products include Intello FruitSort (a fruit sorting machine), Intello Sort (a vegetable sorting machine), Intello Pack (an automated weighing and packing machine for fresh produce), Intello Grade (a produce grading machine), Intello Track (quality inspection machine) and Intello ShelfEye (a stock management platform).

The startup raised $2.82 Mn last year at a post-money valuation of $77 Mn. The round was led by Saama Capital, with participation from existing investors – Avaana Capital, Omnivore, Nexus Ventures and AgFunder. The company has secured a total of $15.72 Mn to date.

14. KisanKonnect

Launched during the pandemic in 2020 by Vivek Nirmal and Nidhi Nirmal, KisanKonnect now boasts a network of 5,000 farmers. The startup directly sources food from these farmers through its village-level collection centres.

It sells sourced products in the markets of Mumbai and Pune and offers its services to customers directly through its mobile app and farm stores. 

KisanKonnect claims that it manages over 1.75 Lakh acres of cultivated land and provides access to more than 200 types of vegetables and 100 types of fruits through its online platform. The startup also claims to deliver approximately 1.5 Lakh boxes of vegetables and fruits every month.

According to the startup, it serves more than 1 Lakh consumers in Pune and Mumbai. In May, the startup secured an undisclosed amount of funding from actor Shilpa Shetty.  

15. Ninjacart

The Bengaluru-based startup procures groceries, fruits and vegetables from farmers and delivers them directly to supermarkets and other retail stores. Founded by Nagarajan, Sharath Loganathan, Sachin Jose, Kartheeswaran KK and Vasudevan Chinnathambi in 2015, Ninjacart claims to source over 1,400 tonnes of fresh produce daily from farmers hailing from over 20 states. It then supplies the produce to over 17,000 retail stores.

The startup has secured more than $396 Mn since its inception. It is backed by names like Tiger Global, Walmart, Accel India and Trifecta Capital Advisors. 

Ninjacart saw its operating revenue cross the INR 1,000 Cr mark in the financial year ended March 31, 2023. The B2B agritech startup reported sales of INR 1,153.4 Cr in FY23, up 19% from INR 967.3 Cr in FY22. Despite the rise in sales, the startup’s loss grew 6% to INR 326.3 Cr in FY23 from INR 307.9 Cr in FY22.

16. ONO 

To enhance the connection between farmers and mandis, Rama Rao Kancharapu launched the discovery platform ONO in 2021.

This agritech startup offers a range of services, including ONO Connect, a price and market discovery platform; ONO Cash, a credit facilitation platform; and ONO Click, a SaaS platform for commission agents and traders. The startup also provides price and market intelligence, payment processing, collections, and digitisation of market operations. Additionally, it features ONO Mandi, a mid-mile trading platform.

The startup claims to be active in over 45 mandis across six states, with a network of over 30,000 partners and seven commodity transactions hosted on its platform.

In its latest seed funding round, ONO secured $1.3 Mn, led by Aeravti Ventures with participation from Indigram Labs.

17. Orbit Farming

After concluding his role as the vice president of operations at Swiggy, Kedar Gokhale partnered with Aishwarya Ramakrishnan to launch Orbit Farming.

Orbit Farming is dedicated to providing farm solutions specifically tailored for mid-sized Indian farmers who own 2 to 10 hectares of farmland. The founders aim to assist these farmers in boosting their farm income by offering a platform that provides farming mechanisation solutions, thereby enabling them to achieve greater profitability.

The startup’s vision, as outlined on its LinkedIn page, is to bridge the gap between traditional farming practices and modern, technology-driven solutions.

Currently, Orbit Farming is in its early stages of development and is actively engaged in assembling a founding team that shares its mission of empowering mid-sized farms.

18. Otipy

Founded in 2020 by Varun Khurana and Prashant Jain, Otipy is a part of agritech startup Crofarm Agriproducts. Otipy operates as a B2B2C social commerce platform for fresh produce, including vegetables, fruits, dairy, and other grocery items.

The startup uses its proprietary technology to procure fresh produce from farmers based on the demand calculated by its prediction engines. Then, it delivers the goods to customers within 12 hours of harvest. 

It claims to have the lowest wastage rate in the industry at 3%.

According to Inc42 data, the startup has secured $44 Mn in total funding since its inception. It counts Westbridge Capital, SIG and Omidyar Network India among its investors. 

Otipy last raised $32 Mn in a funding round led by Westbridge Capital. Back then, it said it would use the capital to expand its geographical reach across India and strengthen the supply chain. 

19. Salam Kisan

Founded in 2022 by Dhanashri Mandhani, Salam Kisan is an end-to-end agritech startup, which offers services like drone-based soil testing, procurement, and marketplace offerings to farmers.

The startup primarily earns its revenues from soil testing and drone services with which it claims to have covered over 15,000 acres of land, aiding 7,500 farmers. Currently, the startup is only operational in Maharashtra across 22 districts of the state, with a user base of 58,000 farmers. 

Interestingly, 15% of its total farmer base today is women. It also offers a DGCI-certified drone pilot training course valued at INR 50,000 per pilot. However, in the coming financial year, Salam Kisan also plans to enter the drone manufacturing segment, targeting the production of 250 drones by the end of March. The in-house drones are expected to serve the purposes such as spraying chemicals, pesticides, and seeds.

While the manufacturing unit will be located in Jalna, Maharashtra, the R&D centre will be established in Bengaluru. The startup is also focussing on recruiting new pilots.

As a bootstrapped startup, Salam Kisan commenced operations with a preliminary investment of $2 Mn. It aims to secure its first external funding round in the upcoming financial year.

20. Vegrow

Founded by Praneeth Kumar, Mrudhukar Batchu, Kiran Naik and Shobhit Jain in 2020, Vegrow operates a B2B fruit marketplace. It offers farmers a range of tech solutions such as crop advisory, grading, packaging, logistics and sales support.

The agritech startup claims to leverage data and tech to maximise farmers’ income by accurately grading the produce and efficiently matching it with the most suitable demand channel.

Vegrow has raised a total funding of over $80 Mn to date. In December 2023, the startup secured $46 Mn in its Series C funding round in a mix of primary and secondary infusions. The funding round was led by GIC and also saw participation from existing investors Prosus Ventures, Matrix Partners India, Elevation Capital, and Lightspeed. It also provided a partial exit to its investors Ankur Capital, Titan Capital and Better Capital. 

At the time of the fundraise, Vegrow claimed to have witnessed a five-fold rise in its revenue in the last year and achieved operational profitability.

21. WayCool

Founded by Karthik Jayaraman and Sanjay Dasari in 2015, Waycool operates a full-stack agritech platform that connects farmers looking to sell produce to retailers, traders and processors, among others. 

The startup leverages technology to operate the supply chain from soil to sale. It works with over 85,000 farmers and deals in products ranging from fresh fruits and vegetables, staples, nuts and spices, to dairy and other value-added products

WayCool also offers SaaS products for clients across domains such as procurement, processing, warehousing, and distribution. 

According to Inc42 data, the startup has raised over $231 Mn in funding to date. It is backed by the likes of LightRock, LightBox, FMO, Lightsmith, IFC and Redwood Equity Partners.

This is a running article, we will keep adding more names to the list.

Last updated: June 21, 2024 

[Edited by Shishir Parasher]


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