Founded by Rema Subramanium and Ritu Verma, Ankur Capital is a social venture fund that invests in startup businesses that impact low income communities and sectors in India. And agriculture is definitely one of them.
Together with Mumbai Angels, it is looking to invest in agriculture startups and is accepting applications now.
Mumbai Angels is one of the oldest angel networks of the country and it had also expressed its interest in funding agriculture companies in India.
The two are looking for innovative business models that can address core challenges in agriculture. Here are some of the themes:
- Enabling small farm mechanization and farm machinery leasing
- Providing access to high value and premium markets for farm produce
- New ways to deliver Agriculture Extension services
- Models that engage with farmer communities in contract and precisionfarming
- ICT led innovations for agri supply chains
- Small farm irrigation solutions and water management solutions
- Innovative micro warehousing solutions for small farmers
Entrepreneurs need to send their business plans to email@example.com before July 19th. The companies must not be older than three years and can expect an investment in the range of INR 50 lakh to 1 crore ($0.1-0.2 million).
Their portfolio companies in agriculture involve:
Cropin (Ankur Investee): CropIn is an effort to provide agri businesses the technology and expertise needed to create a smarter and safer food supply for consumers around the world.
eFarm (Mumbai Angels investee): eFarm is an end-to-end agriculture supply chain platform , providing a combination of technology solutions and on-ground distribution mechanism to enable farmers reach end markets in an effective manner.
MilkMantra (Mumbai Angels investee): It uses state of the art technology and the latest innovation to offer natural and healthier milk.
Agriculture as a sector is clearly the backbone of Indian economy and an evergreen sector employing nearly half of the nation’s workforce. The agricultural output of our country has contributed 13.7% of the total GDP in 2013. Although the sector hasn’t seen many innovations being implemented at scale, it’ll be of utmost importance to do this for better efficiency. There are some encouraging stories in the startup sector which came out during the YourStory Agriculture meetup but lot remains to be done.
Related reads: What is the future of Indian agriculture? A farmer, an investor and an entrepreneur tell us