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Bertelsmann India Leads $27 Mn Series C Funding In Pune-Based AgroStar

Bertelsmann India Leads $27 Mn Series C Funding In Pune-Based AgroStar

AgroStar had raised $10 Mn Series B funding in 2017

Fresh funds will be used to scale up the company’s operations and team

This is the third agritech startup to announce funding this week

Pune-based agritech startup, AgroStar has raised $27 Mn (INR 188 Cr) Series C funding led by Bertelsmann India. Existing investors Accel Partners, Chirate Ventures (formerly IDG Ventures) and Aavishkar Bharat Fund also participated in the current funding round. The startup earlier raised $10 Mn in 2017 in a Series B round led by Accel Partners.

Shardul Sheth, CEO of AgroStar said in a media statement, “We intend to invest more in data science and strengthen our technology capabilities so that we can provide better real-time and relevant information to more farmers in the country.”

Founded by Shardul Sheth and Sitanshu Sheth, AgroStar offers an app and IVR (interactive voice response)-based service to provide agriculture solutions to farmers. It’s services include expert advice on farm production, ordering and doorstep delivery of quality farm products such as seeds, manure, and pesticides. Farmers can avail these services at any point of their crop life-cycle with a missed call or through its android app.

Currently, AgroStar is present in three Indian states including Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan and is now planning to scale up operations across more states. The Pune-based startup claims to have served more than 5 Lakh farmers through its digital platform.  

With over 1 Mn Android downloads, the agritech startup has plans to offer market linkages and credit to farmers in the next five years.

“We have achieved more than a million downloads and wish to scale it up to 10 Mn beneficiaries within the next two to three years,” added Sheth.

Earlier this week, two more agritech startups TartanSense and Aibono have also raised funding. Bengaluru-based TartanSense raised $2 Mn seed fund, to solve the weeding problem of small cotton farmers using an AI-backed robot. While, Aibono had raised $2.5 Mn in a Pre-Series A funding round, to provide precision agriculture to the farmers using artificial intelligence and data science. Aibono also aggregates the demand for agricultural supplies by working with small retailers.

According to Inc42 DataLabs, the total funding in agritech startups in India has grown from $46.1 Mn (INR 320 Cr) 2017 to $66.6 Mn (INR 463 Cr) in 2018, which is indicative of the  investor’s growing interest in India’s agritech sector. This is also showcases the huge agriculture-based business opportunity in the country. Other prominent players in the agritech sector are NinjaCart, Crofarm, Stellapps, Bombay Hemp Company and CropIn.