Lawrencedale Agro Processing India (Pvt) Ltd, (LEAF) a fresh produce supply chain major, has raised Series B funding from Denmark-based BESTSELLER Foundation, a global foundation, and US-based venture capital fund, Unitus Impact. Existing Investor Aspada also participated.
The financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.
With this fresh round of equity investment, LEAF will channel funds to expand its footprint deeper across South India and engage within a significantly larger number of horticulture belts. By extensively re-engineering the fresh produce value chain, LEAF has developed a high-quality fresh produce brand in India, empowering farmers, retailers, and consumers.
Palat Vijayaraghavan, Founder & CEO of Lawrencedale Agro Processing, said, “We have been working on how we can bring predictability to the lives of farmers with sustainable practices. We walk with small land-hold farmers in the entire life-cycle of the harvest and also bring in beneficial forward market-linkages through our brand LEAF. It is an honour that BESTSELLER Foundation and Unitus Impact have chosen to partner us in this journey.”
In 2013, LEAF raised its Series A funding from Aspada Investment Company, backed by the Soros Economic Development Fund, one of the pioneers of early stage agriculture investments in India.
According to Kushal Agrawal, CFO, Aspada Investment Advisors, “LEAF has grown admirably over the past three years and has not only created a significant impact in the lives of small land-hold farmers in India but has also built a strong fresh produce brand.”
Headquartered in Ooty, LEAF works extensively with more than 3,000 farmers across South India and is envisaging increasing its scope of operations to engage with more than 10,000 farmers over the next few years.
On an average, LEAF handles more than 7,000 ton of fresh produce annually and works with more than 300 retail stores across South India, including marquee retail chains such as Spar Hypermarket, Star Bazaar, Aditya Birla More, Future Group, and Godrej Nature’s Basket among others.
With its ‘LEAF’ brand of fresh produce, Lawrencedale Agro is bringing about a significant positive change in how retailers handle fresh produce providing end consumers with the promise of hygiene and high-quality fresh produce. “Our end-to-end integrated cold-store value chain with significant investments in post-harvest management is bringing about a noticeable impact in not only to the lives of farmers but to end-consumers of fresh produce and retailers who are struggling to source quality fresh produce,” added Vijayaraghavan.
Led by its experience-rich agriculture technical services, LEAF works with farmers to enrich the soil, engage them on bio-alternate inputs, leading to substantial increase in the quality of the fresh produce.