Rajasthan-based startup FreshoKartz has raised INR 10 Cr in a pre-series A funding from Rajasthan Venture Capital Fund (RVCF) and AWE (Achieving Women Equity) Funds.
Speaking to Inc42, Rajendra Lora, founder, FreshoKartz said that the company plans to use these funds to leverage its forte in technology, expand its team. “In terms of technology, we are planning to set up soil database crop and fertiliser recommendation systems. Also, we are developing an analytics space system where we are planning to record every data of farmers which will help our company to target specific markets,” Lora said.
In 2018, FreshoKartz had raised an undisclosed amount in its seed funding round from Chennai-based investor Sunil Kumar Singhvi along with a group of angel investors and high net worth individuals on convertible note terms.
Speaking about the fresh investment, Lora added that investors were looking for startups that come from a rural background and they saw a perfect match after looking at Freshokartz’s work during the pandemic which helped the company in raising this fund.
Lora said that the company witnessed a sharp rise in revenue as it had achieved almost 100% growth in FY20.“With the farm bills and the government’s focus on farming, the Covid-19 pandemic hasn’t affected the sector much. During the pandemic, there were only unorganised retailers in the market who were not delivering directly to farmers. But we managed to do it and that is why we have 20-30% growth in the revenue,” Lora said.
The pandemic has forced farmers to make the best use of technology and Freshokartz has helped farmers to place orders through the company’s mobile app from nearby centers, he added.
Chandrakanta, cofounder remarked, “we are especially delighted with the powerful combination of our two investors who bring significant synergistic value to our company in helping us develop our organization with more than just capital. The vast experiences of the two teams, their associated networks and their focus on not only commercial returns but also a genuine interest in improvement in lives of farmers, especially women farmers, has made this a very valuable partnership.”
FreshoKartz provides soil-based crop and fertilisers recommendation to farmers through Agronomist and through call centre. It has opened network or digitalised physical agri kiosks at the village level and deliver agri advisory, inputs and collect farmer output through centres or their doorsteps. The company also facilitates farmers in getting financial/insurance through partners and building a complete hybrid model for farmers where farmers get pre and post harvest agriculture-related services.
The company plans to use the investment to leverage its technology so that farmers focus on digitisation and organic farming and it is also looking at increasing its farmers base in Rajasthan and nearby states.
“We have identified around 500 farmers and are looking at ways to use organic fertilisers. We are also focusing on marginal women farmers and how we can increase their yield by 30-40%,” Lora added.
Freshokartz claims to work with more than 100 agri inputs companies including UPL, Chambal Fertilizers to provide Agri inputs to farmer’s doorstep.
Gaurav Chowdhry, VP at RVCF said, “It is pertinent for us to look at startups which can sustain in these challenging times by differentiation and innovation. By focusing on farmer’s multitude of farming needs, Freshokartz is providing full stack solutions for better farm outcomes. The team has strong execution capabilities and expect to see significant growth in the coming years. We are happy to partner with Freshokartz in the journey.”
Seema Chaturvedi, Founder & Managing Partner of AWE Funds observed, “At AWE Funds, given our team’s deep agri expertise, we believe that the agri-tech industry is poised for rapid growth. Furthermore, we found FAPL’s focus on appropriate and adaptable farmer-centric technology especially on the downstream input side of the supply chain to be a very compelling investment thesis. Added to the fact that the main beneficiaries are marginal farmers of whom 70% are women, this investment is very aligned with our gender lens focused investment mandate in Achieving Women Equity.”
FreshoKartz competitors include other players such as Dehaat, Agrostar, and Gramophone.