Cattle trade via app: How MoooFarm uses tech to help dairy farmers connect
A few years ago, if one wanted to buy cattle, the best option would have been to visit the nearest cattle fair or to get in touch with a local cattle farmer. This meant buyers’ choices were limited and prices in the market weren’t standardised.
Today, a new breed of startups not only helps cattle buyers and owners connect with each other but also provides services such as financing and access to veterinarians.
One such startup is Gurugram-based, which has created an app for dairy farmers. The company says it uses technology to fix the gaps in India’s dairy ecosystem.
Co-founded by Param Singh, Aashna Singh, Jitesh Arora, and Abhijeet Mittal in 2019, MoooFarm operates in Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, and parts of Maharashtra.
“MoooFarm is not just inducting the best cattle for farmers but creating a complete ecosystem. It also provides best quality cattle feed, free access to qualified veterinarians, access to insurance and financial services, all just a click away from smartphone,” Abhijeet tells YourStory.
MoooFarm says its Android app has been downloaded by more than one million farmers. Via its MoooAssurance programme, it has sold over 20,000 cattle in the last 10 months.
To fix the supply chain, the startup uses a network of verified partners. It also claims to have built an advanced inspection system using Machine Learning to determine the quality and price of cattle.
On the demand side, it has built a network of Mooosaathis or social entrepreneurs who then sell the products to the end consumers.
Two of MoooFarm co-founders—Jitesh and Abhijeet—are from IIT Roorkee and have worked with analytics and consulting firms. Param is a second-time entrepreneur and has sold his last company to an Australian-listed firm while Aashna holds a post-graduation degree from London Business School.
So, why did the founders leave their comfortable jobs to help solve problems in India’s dairy industry?
“When Param came from Australia, he had a vision to impact 100 million lives and dairy was one such sector where there was a huge gap and close to 100 million farmers’ daily source of income. We all met through common friends and started discussing the huge gap in the dairy ecosystem and how it can be resolved,” Abhijeet says.
The team, which included Aashna, Jitesh, and Abhijeet, first decided to find a solution for cattle insurance via facial recognition in 2019. They built the prototype in two months and participated in a World Bank Challenge.
“After winning the challenge, we decided to join hands and start MoooFarm,” says Abhijeet.
MoooFarm now employs over 50 people.
Funding and monetisation
MoooFarm says it is in talks to close its Series A round and expects to deploy the fresh capital to expand operations and strengthen its brand.
It last raised $2.4 million in a Seed round led by Accel India with participation from Rockstart’s AgriFood fund and Navus Ventures in December 2021.
MoooFarm has two cattle trading models: Marketplace and inventory. In the marketplace model, a small fee is charged from buyer and seller. In the inventory model, cattle are sold at a slight markup on the cattle purchase price. Feed is produced in-house and sold at a small margin.
The startup saw a revenue of Rs 55 crore in FY22.
“This is the highest recorded revenue in the dairy space of the startup ecosystem, which makes MoooFarm a cash and vision-rich business, in the era of startups burning cash and unable to monetise,” says Abhijeet.
It expects to close this year with over Rs 200 crore in revenue.
The dairy market in India reached a value of Rs 13,174 billion in 2021. The IMARC Group, which offers market research reports and consulting services, expects the market to reach Rs 30,840 billion by 2027, exhibiting at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 14.98 percent between 2022 and 2027.
According to Abhijeet, MoooFarm is organising the pre-farm gate dairy sector for a large and unexplored market which constitutes almost 4.6 percent of India’s gross domestic product.
“MoooFarm’s vision started with building a connected commerce platform, strongly driven by technology to increase income for 80 million dairy farmers in India with small solutions that make the process feasible and accessible to every farmer at their fingertips,” he says.
Going forward, it expects to expand its presence in cities in Punjab, Rajasthan, and Haryana and giving end to end service.
MoooFarm competes with the likes of Animall, Gaugau, Pashushala, Krishify etc. In terms of feed, it faces competition from Cargill, Godrej Agrovet, Tirana, among others.
It won StartUp India’s Animal Husbandry Grand Challenge in May 2020 as well as a $15,000 grant from Microsoft in 2019. It has tied up with Google and Tata Trusts’ Internet Saathi programme to train women farmers in rural areas.
Three of the four co-founders—Aashna, Jitesh and Abhijeet—secured a place on the Forbes 30 under 30 list in 2021.