[Funding alert] Agritech startup Ecozen completes $6M Series A fundraise with investment from IFA Fund
Pune-based agritech startup Ecozen, which develops technology-enabled products to strengthen the farm-to-fork value chain of perishables, on Thursday announced that it has completed its $6 million Series A fundraise, after receiving $4 million in investment from Sathguru Catalyser’s Innovation in Food & Agriculture Fund (IFA Fund).
Vijayaraghavan Kannan, Senior Partner at IFA Fund, said,
“Ecozen has focused on using technology as a differentiator and has pioneered innovative products addressing market imperfections and catering to underserved segments of the agriculture and food value chain. Businesses with positive environmental externalities and livelihood impacts fit well with IFA’s investment philosophy.”
The company said this funding is on top of the investment received in July from Caspian and the Hivos-Triodos Fund. Omnivore, which originally invested in Ecozen in 2015, also participated in this round.
Founded in 2010 by three IIT Kharagpur alumni, Devendra Gupta, Prateek Singhal, and Vivek Pandey, Ecozen’s products help farmers who grow perishables to increase their yields, store their produce longer, and realise higher prices.
Its three core products are: Ecofrost (solar-powered, portable cold room based on thermal energy storage that enables on-farm cooling and storage of perishable produce immediately after harvest), Ecotron (smart controller for irrigation pumps), and Eco-Connect (a platform that connects farmers growing perishables with organised buyers).
The company recently launched Ecofrost Link, a modular and more technologically advanced version of Ecofrost, which converts any insulated room into a solar-powered cold room. The company added in a statement that Ecofrost Link is already seeing traction among agri value-chain players in India and Africa who want deployments in their pack-houses and distribution centers to keep perishable produce fresh.
Also recently launched, Eco-Connect has already grown to on board 200 buyers and 75 active sellers on the platform.
Approximately 25,000 farmers in India use Ecozen’s products. Through its innovative ‘Lease-a-Cold-Room’ model, the firm is looking to provide cold chain access to farmers across India growing perishable commodities. The company is also on track to double its Ecotron business.
Krishna Kumar, ex-MD of State Bank of India, will be joining Ecozen’s board as the company embarks on its next phase of growth.
Devendra Gupta, Co-founder and CEO of Ecozen, said,
“We are thrilled to partner with the IFA Fund. The funding raised will enable us to expand our product range, production capacity, and enter new geographies. We will also increase the deployment of our leasing-based cold chain solution and scale up Eco-Connect massively.”
Ravi Narasimham, Investment Director at Caspian, added, "We have been quite impressed with Ecozen's progress since we invested. We believe this round of funding will help Ecozen realise its potential by furthering its business strategy across new geographies by launching its innovative product range.”
(Edited by Athirupa Geetha Manichandar)