Bengaluru-based agritech startup Ergos has raised INR 35 Cr ($5 Mn) in a Series A funding round from Aavishkaar Group’s equity investment arm Aavishkaar Capital. The Series A funding is expected to be a part of a larger INR 100 Cr round which will see participation from Aavishkaar Capital and an undisclosed tech venture capital fund.
Founded in 2012 by Kishor Jha and Praveen Kumar, Ergos had earlier raised seed funding from Aavishkaar in 2015. Ergos is an agri-supply chain startup that helps small and marginal farmers in India digitise their food grain distribution. The company offers doorstep access to end-to-end post-harvest supply chain solutions. Moreover, the platform also operates as a bank and offers several facilities — storage, digitisation, credit, and liquidation.
Ergos is solving warehousing problems for the farmers through its tech-enabled GrainBank that has been piloted in Bihar. Ergos is planning to utilise this funding to double farmers income and to strengthen its GrainBank for the post-harvest needs of the farmers. The technology is used by more than 20K farmers and has a physical footprint across 60 locations.
“With the right amount of investment and strong institutional backing, we have the ability to make the Prime Minister’s vision of doubling the farmer income come true in a much shorter span. Our focus is to build this GrainBank to serve post-harvest requirements of all farmers with a focus on small and marginal farmers,” Jha said.
Agriculture is the biggest employer in India, employing almost 50% of the population. Despite its size, there is a significant technological handicap that needs to be dealt with in order to make this sector flourish economically and provide benefits to those at the bottom of the supply chain. Several tech startups understand the potential of the sector and the opportunities it provides, especially after the integration of proper technology.
As DataLabs by Inc42, the agritech sector recorded a total funding of $244.59 Mn in 2019, noting a hike of over 350% in terms of amount. Some players working in this domain include WayCool, NinjaKart, Bijak, AgNext, Aquaconnect, Fasal and more.
In February, farm-to-fork supply chain startup WayCool raised $35 Mn from Lightbox Ventures, InnoVen Capital and Netherland development finance company FMO Entrepreneurial Development Bank. Meanwhile, Bijak raised $2.5 Mn in a seed round from investment firms Omnivore and Omidyar Network India, and Sequoia Capital India’s accelerator programme Surge.