Patna-based agritech startup DeHaat has raised $12 Mn in its Series A funding round led by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital India and Dutch development bank FMO. Existing investors Omnivore and AgFunder also participated in the funding round.
With the raised funds, the startup plans to expand its reach to more than a million farmers by 2021. DeHaat wants to build a network of 2,000 rural retail centres for last-mile delivery as well as farm produce aggregation. Cofounder and chief executive officer of DeHaat Shashank Kumar said that the startup will use also some of the new funding to automate the supply chain and build the next layer of data analytics to make the supply chain more effective.
For this round, investment bank Dexter Capital was the financial advisor to DeHaat. Prior to this, DeHaat has raised $2.84 Mn (INR 20 Cr) from venture debt firm Trifecta Capital.
Founded in 2012 by Kumar, DeHaat is an online platform which offers end-to-end agricultural services to farmers. These services include distribution of high-quality agricultural inputs, artificial intelligence (AI) based customised farm advisory, access to financial services, and market linkages for selling their produce.
Currently, the platform is working with close to 210K farmers from major agricultural states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Odisha. The startup also plans to further expand in these states. DeHaat provides farm owners with advisory services on pest and disease management for major crops on the mobile application. It has also set up call centres to resolve the doubts of farmers.
Kumar told Livemint that the startup is a farmers’ aggregator platform that connects them to different micro-businesses. In the financial year 2020, the startup had registered a revenue of INR 135 Cr, a 3.5x hike from INR 43 Cr earned in FY19. Kumar said that the startup is aiming to achieve INR 1200 Cr in revenue by the financial year 2022.
Can Agritech Help Mitigate Coronavirus Impact?
In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, many farmers across the country have halted all operations and have found it difficult to manage their finances.
Many farmers across the country would be in dire need to obtain small loans to ride through the period of lockdowns and the pandemic. Agritech startups like DeHaat can play a significant role in coming times. While the coronavirus has put a halt on many government missions, agritech startups might help the centre to come on back on track to achieve the goal of doubling farmer income by 2022.
According to DataLabs by Inc42, agritech startups in 2019, recorded total funding of $244.59 Mn in 2019, noting a hike of over 350% in terms of amount. Many of these startups are working in supply chain and research and development of agricultural sector.
Some of the notable funded startups working in agritech segment include Ergos, WayCool, NinjaKart, Bijak, Aquaconnect, Fasal and more. Bengaluru-based agritech startup Ergos has recently raised INR 35 Cr ($5 Mn) in a Series A funding round from Aavishkaar Group’s equity investment arm Aavishkaar Capital.
While farm-to-fork supply chain startup WayCool raised $35 Mn in February 2020 from Lightbox, InnoVen, and FMO Entrepreneurial Development Bank, Bijak raised $2.5 Mn a seed round from investment firms like Omnivore and Omidyar Network India in December 2019.