This agritech startup promises to deliver fresh fruits, vegetables to your doorstep via video shopping
Although convenient, buying fresh produce online has its own challenges. With only stock photos to rely on, customers can never be sure of how fresh a product is.
Founded in 2019, Bengaluru-basedtakes this guesswork out of ordering fruits and vegetables online by allowing customers to video shop via a mobile app.
The platform offers a wide range of produce from baby spinach to Brahmi leaves. Vegetables range from lotus stems, and water chestnuts to white brinjals while fruits range from wild pomelos to exotic berries and definitely the regulars from all regions across India.
Atomaday, founded by Dax Percey Abraham and Vinay Raghu Prasad, claims to deliver the exact same quality of the products that users see in the video on the app.
“We harvest the produce at the right time, ensuring that they are of similar sizes and shapes,” Dax tells YourStory.
According to Dax, the platform aspires to replicate the offline consumer experience through the use of technology.
The app is available for both Android and iOS users and has been downloaded over 20,000 times.
A fresh idea
The Indian agricultural sector contributed around 20.19 percent of the GDP in 2020–21, as per the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation report.
According to the Mordor Intelligence report, the agricultural sector is expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 4.9 percent between 2021 and 2026. It is the only industry that has experienced positive growth both during and after the pandemic.
However, despite being one of the largest livelihood providers in the country’s rural areas, the Indian agriculture industry remains unorganised.
In an attempt to address this problem, B2C (business-to-consumer) startup Atomaday uses, what its founders call, ‘technology-enabled collaborative-farming.’
Atomaday says it enables both farmers and consumers to have a visual direct connection using its video shopping platform, enabling a feedback system for farmers to understand demand requirements and produce quality. Additionally, it follows the ‘farm-inventory model’ to minimise wastage and maintain the quality of deliverables.
How does it work?
"For our customers, we provide a video shopping technology– 'you get what you see' via our app. In the backend, we have developed our own algorithm where we direct, guide, and communicate with the farmers. Everything is in-house and we have made these systems from scratch to suit the entire process." Dax explains.
Atomaday app helps consumers see the freshness of the products. On the other hand, farmers receive orders directly through the app, pick the selected produce that morning, and deliver it to customers within 12 hours.
The startup then delivers the order to the customers’ doorsteps. Customers can book as per their required quantity and there is no minimum order restraint for delivery.
The app also allows consumers to replace the product – with no questions asked -- within 12 to 24 hours. It does not charge a delivery fee.
The startup, which currently operates only in Bengaluru, says it receives over 150 orders a day and claims to have delivered over 70,000 orders since its inception.
It claims to have sold over 1 million products via video-shopping in the city.
"Our experienced agronomist controls the farms through technology, planning hundreds of acres of farm for daily production." says Dax
About 80 percent of farms in India are small, and farmers are unable to adopt technological advancements in their farming methods, according to reports.
Atomaday says it helps farmers access advanced technologies and produce higher yields from sowing to harvesting. Farmers working with the startup can only sell their produce to Atomaday.
Speaking about the benefits that farmers receive by partnering with Atomaday, Dax says:
“Money is definitely an important part of this interaction, and our model ensures consistent income for the farmers. Besides this, we provide technical inputs on soil, seed selection, crop rotation, and regular consumer feedback to the farmers via different meets at local levels.”
The farmers are given a crop plan that includes around 10–12 high value crops to be grown throughout the year. This crop plan is based on the fruit and vegetable demand generated by consumers at various times throughout the year.
"We have deep dived into the agritech industry. We met with over 200 farmers, talked about their problems, conducted field market research, identified need gaps, evaluated vendors who act as middlemen, and so on." he explains.
To build an eco-friendly and sustainable business model for its farmers that can create a sustained, consistent, and growing income for their community, the startup also organises multiple education programmes for farmers, such as crop planning strategy, technology, the introduction of newer high-value crops, and pricing strategy.
Atomaday says it aims to make farming a financially-lucrative profession. "Our collaborative farming techniques and models that we have introduced via Atomaday help farmers make a good amount of money, and consistent paychecks."
The price offered to the farmers for the produce depends on how many acres they own. The co-founder declined to disclose the offered profit margin percentage with the farmers.
Currently, the startup is working with over 200 farmers and cultivating more than 400 acres of land and aiming to onboard 1 lakh acres of farmlands in next two to three years.
The agritech sector in India is thriving, with digitisation and resilience becoming key themes of the industry. Central and state governments are playing an effective role in sector development by creating incubators, awarding grants, and focusing on public-private partnerships.
According to Bain & Company, the agritech industry is expected to witness investments worth $30–35 billion by 2025.
India is the third-largest recipient of agritech investments after the US and Germany and at 1427, has the third-largest number of agritech startups after the US and UK. Many players, such as, , , , among others, are working in the space.
The startup's key focus areas are freshness, variety, and affordability. By "freshness," it means produce having the highest nutrition, harvested at the right time, delivered at the best time for consumption without any storage process.
“We have a team of agronomists who undertake regular soil testing, lead testing, etc. to ensure the health of the soil. They recommend soil nutrition to the farmers if there are any issues. This has a direct impact on the nutritional aspect of the produce.” Dax explains.
The startup says it does not carry forward any leftover produce. Any excess fruits and vegetable stock is donated to feed the local animal and bird shelters that have tied up with Atomaday.
Currently, the startup only operates in Bengaluru. To further deepen its footprints in the city and expand to other areas such as Hyderabad and Mysuru, Atomaday is in talks with some angel investors to raise seed capital.
"We are slowly and gradually moving to other parts of the Southern Indian market. We plan to begin distribution in Hyderabad by the end of the next quarter, and then expand to other tier-2 cities like Mysuru within Karnataka,” Dax says.
The founders bootstrapped the startup with an initial investment of Rs 2 crore.
The startup generated around Rs 2.2 crores in revenue in the fiscal year 2021-22 and expected to make Rs 5 crores by the fiscal year 2022-23. Atomaday aims to increase the availability of export-quality produce for domestic consumers.
Additionally, the startup aims to onboard over 2 lakh active users on the app by the end of the current fiscal year.