Agritech startup Bharat Krushi Seva raises seed round of Rs 4.3 Cr led by marquee investors
Bharat Krushi Seva, which is working to empower farmers, will use the seed funding to upgrade technology and expand into new geographies.
Bharat Krushi Seva (BKS), an agritech startup launched in July 2021 to drive mass adoption of digital agriculture across India, has raised Rs 4.3 crore ($520,000) in its first round of seed funding from marquee investors, namely S Amit Group, Upaya Social Ventures, Villgro, Criyagen Agri and Biotech, Mintosh Advisory, and SiriusOne Capital.
The funds will be used to enhance technology and expand into new geographies.
BKS has catered to over two lakh-plus farmers across Maharashtra, and aims to reach two lakh more farmers with this funding.
“BKS has a vision to touch the lives of five million farmers in the next four years as a part of our Mass Adoption of Digital Agriculture campaign. Technology can make a huge difference and we envision making farmers self-dependent with our tech-based platform,” said Sharayu Lande, Founder and CEO,.
Agriculture in India has problems such as fragmentation, inefficiencies, and climate vagaries, but also offers infinite possibilities to create sustainable big businesses.
"With scientific and data-driven advisory at its heart, Bharat Krushi Seva is building a comprehensive, tech-based platform to profitably solve complex issues and help each and every farmer grow more sustainably," said the lead investor, Amit Mehta of S Amit Group.
One of BKS' flagship products, the automated weather alerting system, keeps farmers informed about the changing weather conditions and delivers-farm-specific, crop-specific, and crop-stage specific actionable recommendations to farmers to reduce the loss in the yield.
“We have delivered more than 5,000 products till date to the doorsteps of farmers. Our local-level supply chain network of retailers and dealers helps farmers get just-in time doorstep delivery, ensuring quality brands and reduction in damage of stocks,” said Hemant Dhole Patil, Founder and COO, Bharat Krushi Seva.
Focus on farming community
Kate Cochran, CEO, Upaya, says most smallholder farmers are desperately poor and deeply vulnerable to the changes that are affecting our climate despite their crucial role in feeding the world.
"Upaya is excited to partner with BKS to give farmers the information and tools they need to increase productivity in an increasingly challenging environment,” she said.
Mohammad Azhar, Lead Government & Public Sector Initiatives at Villgro, said BKS is bringing substantial value-add to smallholder farmers in Maharashtra through their technology based Business-to-Farmer (B2F) platform.
"The uniqueness combined with trust and affordability further reaffirmed our view that the company is on the right track and creating financial impact in the life of the smallholder farmer,” he said.
BKS' solutions aim to help farmers grow a quality yield, extend shelf life, and get a better market price. This will also decrease food wastage.
Shailendra Mruthyunjayappa, Lead Investor, Mintosh Advisory and SiriusOne Capital, said agritech has the potential to solve some of the biggest challenges that the agriculture industry is facing today. "We are excited to invest in this highly promising startup."
Basavaraj Girennavar, Chairman and Managing Director, Criyagen Agri and Biotech, said they had made a strategic investment in BKS in a quest to develop the agritech ecosystem. "These investments are essential for the growth and sustainability of the agriculture industry and prosperity of the farming community."
(The article was updated to reflect the amount in crore.)
Edited by Teja Lele