Pune-based agritech startup Ecozen Solutions, on Thursday (December 12), announced that it has closed its Series A funding with $6 Mn from Sathguru Catalyser’s Innovation in Food & Agriculture Fund (IFA Fund).
The company had raised an undisclosed amount in Series A funding from Omnivore, Caspian and the Hivos-Triodos Fund in July 2019. Devendra Gupta, cofounder and CEO of Ecozen, said that the fresh funds will help them expand the product range, production capacity, and enter new geographies.
“We will also increase the deployment of our leasing based cold chain solution and scale up Eco-Connect massively,” Gupta added. Krishna Kumar, ex-MD of State Bank of India, will be joining Ecozen’s board.
Founded in 2010 by Devendra Gupta, Prateek Singhal and Vivek Pandey, Ecozen Solutions develops technology-enabled products to strengthen the farm-to-fork value chain of perishables. The company offers irrigation and cold chain products— Ecotron and Ecofrost— which help farmers who grow perishables to increase their yields, store their produce longer and realise higher prices.
The company claims that approximately 25K farmers in India use Ecozen products. It also offers Eco-Connect, which connects farmers growing perishables with organised buyers. It claims that Eco-Connect has already grown to 200 buyers and 75 active sellers on the platform and is expended to scale exponentially in the coming year.
Ecofrost cold rooms can be leased or purchased upfront and run on solar or grid power. Vijayaraghavan Kannan, Senior Partner at IFA Fund said, “Ecozen has focused on using technology as a differentiator and has pioneered innovative products addressing market imperfections and catering to underserved segments of agriculture & food value chain.”
There are more than 1,090 agritech startups in India. According to DataLabs by Inc42, the total funding in agritech startups in India grew from $46.1 Mn 2017 to $66.6 Mn in 2018. According to a National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) report, India’s agritech sector has received more than $248 Mn funding as of June 2019, scaling up almost 300% as compared to last year.
With farming touted to be a $400 Bn industry in India, leading agritech players include Fasal, DeHaat, etc.