Farm to retail agritech startup, Crofarm, said it has raised $1 million in a funding round led by Smile Group, and entered the business-to-business-to-consumer (b2b2c) space with the launch of Otipy, a community-based platform that connects consumers, resellers and farmers.
Earlier last year, the startup had received $500,000 from a clutch of HNIs including Vinay Mittal, former Chief of Strategy at HT Media, Ramit Sethi from Strongbox Ventures, and others.
The Gurugram-based firm said in a statement that Otipy will work on a social commerce model, where the company will deliver the products to resellers, who will handle the last-mile delivery and can earn a healthy commission.
A four year old firm, Crofarm has been testing the social commerce model from the past couple of months, and is already serving over 50,000 consumers through a network of more than 500 reseller partners.
As compared to existing social selling models for grocery and fashion, Otipy claims to operate at 35 percent gross margin, as per the statement, which helps empower communities, along with women, who can make Rs 20,000 to Rs 60,000 per month.
Varun Khurana, Co-founder and CEO of Crofarm, said that the company is targeting the large market with a broken supply chain but a scalable demand led-model.
“Globally, Chinese e-commerce platform Xingsheng Youxuan has championed the model, while the Chilibeli is mirroring the social commerce format with a decent scale,” Varun added.
The 2017 Tech30 startup, Crofarm supplies fruits and vegetables to over 5,000 retailers, which is sourced from farmers across Haryana, UP, Delhi, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra.
Crofarm was founded in April 2016 by Varun Khurana and Prashant Jain, and this is their second venture together. Their previous venture was MyGreenBox, a smartphone-based grocery delivery platform, which they sold to SoftBank, backed by Grofers in 2015.
In February this year, Chennai-based WayCool Foods, an agritech startup working to improve food supply chain and farmer livelihood, also raised $32 million, using equity and debt, in its Series C round led by Lightbox and FMO - a Dutch entrepreneurial development bank -, as well as its current investor, LGT Lightstone Aspada.
The company also announced partnering with InnoVen Capital to raise venture debt as part of this round.
(Edited by Aparajita Saxena)