Noida-based agritech startup Arya has raised $21 Mn in its Series B funding round led by fintech-focussed venture capital firm Quona Capital. Existing investors LGT Lightstone Aspada and Omnivore have participated in the round, along with multiple other lenders providing additional debt financing.
Founded in 1982, Arya Collateral Services was earlier managed by shipping agency JM Baxi. However, Prasanna Rao and Anand Chandra acquired a controlling stake in the company in 2013 to take over the business. The agritech startup provides post-harvest services across the agricultural value chain, including warehousing, warehouse receipt financing, rural storage discovery, collateral management and market linkages.
The company claims that it currently manages over 3 Mn tonnes of agri commodities worth around $1 Bn across 1,500 warehouses. It has clocked around INR 125 Cr in revenue in the financial year 2020, and is expecting to close FY2021 at INR 160-170 Cr, while remaining profitable.
Arya will use this latest funding round to expand its NBFC loan book to around INR 300 Cr by the end of financial year 2021. The company has so far disbursed around INR 250 Cr in small-ticket loans, ranging anywhere between INR 5 Lakh to INR 25 Lakh.
The Noida-based startup will further invest in its newly launched market linkages platform A2Z Godaam, which is said to have 3,000 listed warehouses, after being launched in August 2020. It is also looking to invest in AI for asset quality assessment and technologies for temporary warehousing needs.
“Arya is addressing a vastly underserved market of farmers in India, half of whom previously had little access to post-harvest finance. We believe Arya’s unique approach, providing a full-service digital platform with embedded finance and differentiated efficiencies for small farm holders, will drive the future of farming in India,” said Quona Capital’s cofounder and partner Ganesh Rengaswamy.
Prior to this round, Arya had raised $6 Mn in pre-Series B funding round back in March 2020. The company said that it will use the fund towards building flexible warehouse products, grow its warehouse receipt financing business and set up a pan-India agri-warehousing marketplace. LGT Lightstone Aspada earlier invested in Arya’s Series A round in December 2016.
According to Inc42 Plus, the agritech sector recorded total funding of $244.59 Mn in 2019, an increase of over 350% in the amount of funding in the agritech sector from the previous year. With farming touted to be a $400 Bn industry in India, the market is big enough for startups in both the organised and unorganised segments to sustain and build scalable models.