Here's a list of agritech startups to watch out for in 2018

16th Mar 2018
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In the wake of the distressing news from the farming community, the spike in interest in the agritech sector, both from entrepreneurs as well as investors, looks heartening. 

Is India still an agrarian economy? With vast tracts of rural land surrounding urban areas already ‘reclaimed’ for a real estate boom and setting up of manufacturing hubs, it is anybody’s guess that India still lives in its villages.

According to a 2013 census, there are now nearly nine million fewer farmers than there were in 2001. The Census split workers into four categories: cultivators, agricultural labour, household industry workers, and others. “Cultivators remain the second-largest group at 119 million after 'others' but are now less than a quarter of the total workforce, a decline of over seven percentage points over 2001,” a media report said.

Hopefully, innovation by agritech startups will move the farming cart forward. (Image: Shutterstock)

Other disturbing data points to the fact that agriculture is now only about one-fourth of rural GDP --- from being close to half a decade back. And that 67 percent of India's farmland is held by the marginal farmers with holdings below one hectare.

The recent march of 30,000 farmers in Maharashtra from Nashik to Mumbai points to this distressing trend.

“The headline is about fall in overall growth, from 10 percent to 7.3 percent. The distress is located in the dip in agriculture and allied activities—from 22.5 percent to minus (-) 8.3 percent,” writes Shankkar Aiyar in The New Indian Express. As he rightly points out, “The problem in Maharashtra represents the larger issue Bharat faces. Farming needs a new viability model with backward and forward linkages. All that talk about contract/group/collective farming must walk, and now!”

Need for innovation

Interestingly, there has been a spike in interest from the startup community as far as the agritech sector goes. In 2017, $53 million was poured into agritech startups over 17 deals. This year, too, saw a few startups bagging funding for the innovation they are bringing to the farming space in areas like storage, improving supply chain, quality seed procurement, increased production, logistics and distribution, and so on.

Here’s a list of a few startups (and details of their funding records in different quarters) to watch out for that are bringing innovation in the agri sector.

Startup Name : Agricx Lab

Company Founded Year : 2016

Funding Announcement : Feb-2018

Amount (In USD) : $500,000

Round : Pre-Series A

Investors : Ankur Capital, Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE)

Founders : Ritesh Dhoot, Saurabh Kumar

Brief description : Agriculture-focussed technology startup

City : Mumbai

 

Startup Name : Agrostar

Company Founded Year : 2008

Funding Announcement : Aug-2015

Amount (In USD) : $4,000,000

Round : Series A

Investors : IDG Ventures

Funding Announcement : Mar-2017

Amount (In USD) : $10,000,000

Round : Series B

Investors : Aavishkaar Venture Management services, IDG Ventures, ACCEL

Founders : Sitanshu Sheth, Khalil Shaikh

Brief description : Leading direct-to-farmer digital platform

City : Pune

 

Startup Name : Agrowave

Company Founded Year : 2017

Funding Announcement : Oct-2017

Amount (In USD) : Undisclosed

Round : Pre-Series A

Investors : Daffodil Software

Founders : Anu Meena

Brief description : Fresh produce distribution startup

City : Gurgaon 

 

Startup Name : Airwood

Company Founded Year : 2014

Funding Announcement : May-2016

Amount (In USD) : Undisclosed

Round : Pre-series A

Investors : StartupXseed Ventures

Founders : Vivek Rajkumar

Brief description : Agri Data & Analytics Platform

City : Chennai

 

Startup Name : Arya Collateral

Company Founded Year : 1982

Funding Announcement : Dec-2016

Amount (In USD) : Undisclosed

Round : Other

Investors : Aspada

Founders : Krishna B. Kotak

Brief description : Collateral Warehousing Services

City : Noida

 

Startup Name : Boheco

Company Founded Year : 2013

Funding Announcement : Dec-2017

Amount (In USD) : $1,000,000

Round : Pre-Series A

Investors : Ratan Tata, Rajan Anandan, Srinivaas Sirigeri, MA Tejani, Yash Kela, Nikhil Velpanur

Founders : Sanvar Oberoi, Yash Kotak, Delzaad Deolaliwala, Avnish Pandya, Chirag Tekchandaney, Jahan Jamas, Sumit Shah

Brief description : Cannabis research startup

City : Mumbai

 

Startup Name : Crofarm

Company Founded Year : 2016

Funding Announcement : Aug-2016

Amount (In USD) : $1,500,000

Round : Pre-Series A

Investors : Mukul Singhal, Rohit Jain, Himanshu Aggrawal, Ashish Gupta, Sunil Goyal

Funding Announcement : Aug-2017

Amount (In USD) : $783,000

Round : Pre-Series A

Investors : LetsVenture, FACTOR[e] Ventures, Jitendra Gupta, Rajan Anandan

Founders : Prashant Jain, Varun Khurana

Brief description : Agricultural supply chain

City : Gurgaon

 

Startup Name : CropIn

Company Founded Year : 2010

Funding Announcement : Aug-2016

Amount (In USD) : $2,000,000

Round : Series A

Investors : Sophia Investment ApS

Funding Announcement : Sept-2017

Amount (In USD) : Undisclosed

Round : Pre-Series A

Investors : Beenext, Ankur Capital

Founders : Krishna Kumar

Brief description : Agriculture Technology Solutions

City : Bangalore

 

Startup Name : DayBox

Company Founded Year : 2016

Funding Announcement : Aug-2016

Amount (In USD) : $104,000

Round : Pre-Series A

Investors : Ashutosh Lawania, Rajul Jain, Badal Malick, Rishi Gupta

Founders : Ankush Goyal, Raman Kumar, Ashish Bibyan, Prabhat Kumar

Brief description : tech-based B2B startup fulfilling the daily requirement of fresh fruits and vegetables

City : New Delhi

 

Startup Name : EM3 AgriServices

Company Founded Year : 2013

Funding Announcement : Aug-2017

Amount (In USD) : $10,000,000

Round : Series B

Investors : Global Innovation Fund, Soros Economic Development Fund, Aspada

Founders : Rohtash Mal, Adwitiya Mal

Brief description : Agritech startup

City : Noida

 

Startup Name : Farm Taaza

Company Founded Year : 2015

Funding Announcement : Oct-2017

Amount (In USD) : $8,000,000

Round : Series A

Investors : Epsilon Venture Partners, IL&FS Investment Managers

Founders : Kumar Ramachandran

Brief description : B2B agritech startup

City : Bangalore

 

Startup Name : farMart

Company Founded Year : 2015

Funding Announcement : Mar-2017

Amount (In USD) : Undisclosed

Round : Pre-Series A

Investors : Ambarish Raghuvanshi

Founders : Alekh Sanghera, Mehtab Singh Hans, Lokesh Singh

Brief description : Agri-tech startup

City : Gurgaon

 

Startup Name : Farmizen

Company Founded Year : 2017

Funding Announcement : Sept-2017

Amount (In USD) : Undisclosed

Round : Pre-Series A

Investors : Venture Highway, Mohit Agarwal, Anuj Gupta, Alok Mittal

Founders : Shameek Chakravarty, Sudaakeran Balasubramanian, Gitanjali Rajamani

Brief description : Organic farming platform

City : Bangalore

 

Startup Name : FarmLink

Company Founded Year : 2014

Funding Announcement : Nov-2017

Amount (In USD) : $3,000,000

Round : Other

Investors : Pioneering Ventures, Syngenta

Founders : Sreeram Chellappa

Brief description : Agritech startup

City : Mumbai

 

Startup Name : Gobasco

Company Founded Year : 2017

Funding Announcement : Nov-2017

Amount (In USD) : Undisclosed

Round : Pre-Series A

Investors : Matrix Partners India

Founders : Abhishek Sharma, Vedant Katiyar

Brief description : Agri-tech startup

City : New Delhi

 

Startup Name : Gold Farm

Company Founded Year : 2013

Funding Announcement : Oct-2017

Amount (In USD) : $2,000,000

Round : Pre-Series A

Investors : Mahindra & Mahindra, Infuse Ventures

Founders : Karthic Ravindranath, Abhilash Thirupathy

Brief description : Farm Equipment Aggregator

City : Bangalore

 

Startup Name : Gramophone

Company Founded Year : 2016

Funding Announcement : Mar-2018

Amount (In USD) : $1,000,000

Round : Pre-Series A

Investors : Info Edge

Founders : Nishant Vats, Tauseef Khan, Harshit Gupta

Brief description : Agricultural inputs startup

City : Indore

 

Startup Name : khethinext

Company Founded Year : 2015

Funding Announcement : Feb-2018

Amount (In USD) : $5,000,000

Round : Other

Investors :  Undisclosed

Founders : Phanidhar Palakoti

Brief description : Agri technology platform

City : Hyderabad

 

Startup Name : KisanHub

Company Founded Year : 2012

Funding Announcement : Jan-2018

Amount (In USD) : $2,430,000

Round : Pre-Series A

Investors : Notion Capital, IQ Capital, Calibrate Management

Founders : Sachin Shende, Giles Barker

Brief description : Agricultural technology startup

City : Pune

 

Startup Name : KrishiHub

Company Founded Year : 2016

Funding Announcement : Nov-2017

Amount (In USD) : Undisclosed

Round : Pre-Series A

Investors : INVENT accelerator, Villgro Innovation Fund

Founders : Bhoopendra Kumar, Jyotiska Khasnabish

Brief description : Agri Tech Startup

City : Bangalore

 

Startup Name : Miklens Bio

Company Founded Year : 2016

Funding Announcement : Oct-2017

Amount (In USD) : $5,000,000

Round : Other

Investors : ASLE Technology

Founders : Santosh Nair

Brief description : Agri-biotechnology startup

City : Mumbai

 

Startup Name : Ninjacart

Company Founded Year : 2015

Funding Announcement : Apr-2017

Amount (In USD) : $5,500,000

Round : Series B

Investors : Accel Partners, NRJN Trust, M&S Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, Mistletoe

Funding Announcement : Feb-2018

Amount (In USD) : $1,100,000

Round : Debt Financing

Investors : Trifecta Ventures

Founders : Ashutosh Vikram, Kartheeswaran K K, Sharath Loganathan, Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Vasudevan Chinnathambi, Sachin Jose

Brief description : B2B agri-marketing platform

City : Bangalore

 

Startup Name : Paalak.in

Company Founded Year : 2016

Funding Announcement : Feb-2017

Amount (In USD) : Undisclosed

Round : Pre-Series A

Investors : Vishwadeep Bajaj, Harsh Kundra, Nandkumar Rane, LN Buddharaju, Anupam Tyagi

Founders : Swapnil Tripathi, Vishal Salgotra

Brief description : Agri-tech startup

City : Noida

 

Startup Name : RML AgTech

Company Founded Year : 2007

Funding Announcement : Jan-2017

Amount (In USD) : $4,000,000

Round : Series B

Investors : IvyCap Ventures

Founders : Rajiv Tevtiya

Brief description : Provides Agri Decision Support Solutions

City : Mumbai

 

Startup Name : Utkal Tubers

Company Founded Year : 2016

Funding Announcement : May-2017

Amount (In USD) : $4,600,000

Round : Pre-Series A

Investors : CapAleph Indian Millennium SME Fund, Zephyr Peacock India

Founders : Mukul Gulati, George Thomas

Brief description : Agri startup

City : Bangalore

 

Startup Name : VillFarm

Company Founded Year : 2009

Funding Announcement : Sept-2015

Amount (In USD) : Undisclosed

Round : Pre-series A

Investors : Unitus Seed Fund, Rianta Capital, R Ramaraj, Sunil Edwards

Founders : Mohan Venkateswaran, Sundarraj Mahadevan, Jagadeesh Sunkad

City : Bangalore

 

 

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