Agritech startup DeHaat makes its first acquihire of the year with Vezamart
Agritech startup DeHaat, which connects farmers with agri input suppliers and buyers for their produce, has acquired VezaMart, a platform that builds farm management solutions for farmers. The VezaMart team will continue building their farmer network and solutions after the acquisition.
On the acquihire, Harendra Kumar, Co-founder of VezaMart, told YourStory, “All three of us [Harendra, Abhinav Raghuvansi, and Nilima Vora] have been in touch with Shashank [Kumar, Co-Founder and CEO of DeHaat] for awhile now. Given our shared goal and values on how they were approaching farmers to provide better agri input linkage, we decided it would be best to join hands for much larger scale and impact.”
In March, DeHaat raised equity funding of $4 million led by Omnivore and AgFunder. Earlier this month it raised Rs 20 crore debt capital led by Omnivore and AgFunder.
DeHaat claims to have clocked revenue of Rs 45 crore so far. It closed the last fiscal with revenue of Rs 21 crore and was positive on the earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) level.
Shashank Kumar, Co-founder and CEO, DeHaat believes that this acquihire is in line with the team’s plan to reach its one million farmers milestone by 2021.
“VezaMart already has listed over 700 agri input SKUs, exhaustive crop pest database for crop advisory, and over 120 institutional buyers. This transaction will help us to grow our farmers’ network in a highly accelerated way,” Shashank told YourStory.
DeHaat was founded in 2012 by IIT Delhi alumnus Shashank Kumar and IIT Kharagpur alumnus Manish Kumar. In 2015, Manish exited the startup. Currently, the founding team comprises IIT and IIM alumni Shashank, Amarendra Singh, Shyam Sunder Singh, Adarsh Srivastav and Abhishek Dokania.
Speaking of this acquihire, Shyam and Amarendra , from the co-founding team of DeHaat, said, “Our rationale for this acquisition is it gives us access to a new region and newer farmer network in western UP, and a dedicated and grounded team with 2.5 years of entrepreneurial experience in agritech. VezaMart has done great work on the ground with over 10,000 farmers in western districts like Bulandshahar, Hapur, Aligarh, and Kasganj. We are now planning to set up five regional warehouses in western UP to cater to over 50,000 farmers in the current financial year and to provide them end-to-end agri services, from seed to market.”
Growth and focus
In the past three months, DeHaat claims to have on-boarded 50,000 new farmers across Bihar and UP to reach a milestone of 100,000 farmers on the platform.
The platform has over 520 different agricultural inputs listed, and has partnered with the likes of UPL Ltd, IDBI Bank, IFFCO, DuPont, Pepsico, Bayer Ag, and Yara International. More than 100 institutional buyers are associated with it to facilitate procurement of agricultural produce directly from farmers.
VezaMart was started in 2016 by Harendra, Abhinav, and Nilima, all of NIRMA Ahmedabad, after two years of consulting with Deloitte, Crisil, and Infosys respectively.
It was started as a farm management solution with the aim of improving per hectare farm productivity by providing customised agri-information. Later, it pivoted to an agri input m-commerce platform for farmers. This year, while working with over 10,000 farmers, VezaMart claims to have delivered over 3000 agri input orders to farmers’ doorsteps.
Expansion and the future
DeHaat at present focuses on three major services: agricultural input, crop advisory, and market linkage for farm produce. Farmers can place orders through the DeHaat helpline, the mobile app, or a physical centre. Orders are then forwarded to DeHaat’s micro entrepreneurs, and fulfilled the same day. Each DeHaat micro entrepreneur caters to 600-800 farmers in a radius of 3-5 km.
Over the last seven months, DeHaat has handled over 20,000 tonnes of agricultural output like corn, wheat, chilli, litchi, and vegetables, while connecting farmers with institutional buyers, says Shashank. “At the same time, DeHaat has delivered more than 26,000 orders related to agri inputs, and 86,000 advisory inputs to farmers over three months,” he adds.
Speaking of why this deal makes sense to VezaMart, Harendra says, “End-to-end agri services to farmers always excited us, but we had to focus only on agri input due to our limited bandwidth. We have a great respect for entire DeHaat team; primarily the way they have created a sustainable and impactful business model around farmers. We strongly believe that with the DeHaat technology and network, we can accomplish our goal at much faster rate and with the same entrepreneurial zeal."