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Agritech Intelligence Startup Fasal Raises $4 Mn From 3one4 Capital & Omnivore

Agritech Intelligence Startup Fasal Raises $4 Mn From 3one4 Capital & Omnivore

The Pre-series A round of $4 Mn also saw participation from Wavemaker Partners, Genting Ventures, The Yield Lab Asia-Pacific, Antares Investments, and Nexus’ Sandeep Singhal

Funds raised will be used to expand the business, strengthen services and ramp up hiring and work on new products including F&V market linkages and parametric crop insurance

Founded in 2018 by Shailendra Tiwari and Ananda Verma, Fasal provides data-driven smart farming on parameters like climatic conditions, soil, solar conditions, crop stage and crop growth characteristics

Bengaluru-based deeptech agritech platform Fasal, which provides actionable insights for horticulturists, has raised $4 Mn. The Pre-series A round was led by 3one4 Capital with participation from existing investors Omnivore and Wavemaker Partners. Malaysia-based Genting Ventures, The Yield Lab Asia-Pacific, Antares Investments, and Nexus’ Sandeep Singhal also participated in the round.

The startup, which is a full-stack AI-powered IoT-based SaaS platform for progressive horticulture, plans to use the funds to expand its business across India and Southeast Asia. It aims to strengthen its services and ramp up hiring for sales and marketing, agronomy, and technology teams.

Founded in 2018 by Shailendra Tiwari and Ananda Verma, Fasal provides data-driven smart farming on parameters such as climatic conditions, soil, solar conditions, crop stage and crop growth characteristics. It also provides irrigation alerts, weather forecasting, pest alerts and management of finances among others.

Fasal has previously raised seed funding of $1.6 Mn in 2019 led by Omnivore and Wavemaker Partners. With a model that combines the internet of things (IoT) and SaaS, the startup is using the funding to build AI capabilities for each horticulture value chain it is focussing on.

In an interaction with Inc42, the startup has specified that its business model for institutional farmers follows a simple process. Farmers pay some upfront cost for the hardware and then a pay-as-you-go subscription fee for the tailored intelligence that Fasal provides.

Using on-farm sensors and scientific algorithms, Fasal delivers farm and crop-specific actionable insights to farmers in vernacular languages. The platform is also working on a range of new services including fruits and vegetables (F&V) market linkages and parametric crop insurance.

The founders claim Fasal typically saves about 20-25% in irrigation/fertigation costs for farms. It saves about 8-20% in disease/pest management costs and through its use, farms have seen a yield increase of 5-10% along with noticeable improvement in yield quality.

To date, the startup claims to have saved more than 9 Bn litres of water from irrigation, reduced pesticide expenditure by ~60%, and increased yields across 40,000+ acres of farmland.

The Challenges Within The Agricultural Sector

India has more than 100 Mn farmers who are still struggling to access essential services such as agri-finance, the supply of agri inputs like seeds, fertilisers and farm equipment, and easy market access, mostly provided by agricultural value chains.

On the other hand, several agribusinesses are unable to sell their inputs directly to farmers. Other businesses cannot procure farm produce from farmers without going through multiple agents due to a complex, multilayer supply chain.

The lack of market access is one of the key reasons why farmers, who constitute 60% of the Indian population and contribute nearly 18% to the country’s GDP, are still miles away from sustainable agriculture.

Present in the space include DeHaat, Gramophone, Nofence, Krishify, Cropin, FarmLogs and SourceTrace, among others who are too addressing the unorganised market.

Recently, Indore-based Gramophone raised INR 75 Cr from Z3 Partners, Infoedge, Asha Impact and Siana Capital. In September this year, Omnivore (also an investor in Fasal) backed BharatAgri in its $6.5 Mn Series A round and agritech Dehaat in a $115 Mn round. Recently, B2B agritech startup FarMart raised $10 Mn in a Series A round led by Matrix Partners India.

Walmart-backed Ninjacart raised $10 Mn in its Series C round from Flipkart India and GEC3 in 2020.

According to Inc42 Plus, India’s addressable agritech market potential is expected to reach $24.1 Bn by 2025. Where, Indian startups had tapped into only $204 Mn, or 1% in 2020.

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