Mumbai-based fintech startup Jai Kisan has raised $1.5 Mn (INR 10.6 Cr) in its seed funding round led by Blume Ventures, Prophetic Ventures, Better Capital, Astarc Ventures, Harshbeena Zaveri, managing director of NRB Bearings, and Sanjaya Mariwala from OmniActive.
Other strategic High Networth Investors (HNIs) and founders of other technology companies also participated in the round.
Jai Kisan was founded in 2017 by Arjun Ahluwalia and Adriel Maniego. It is a fintech platform which is aimed at de-risking (take steps to reduce risk) the capital flow to rural emerging markets by facilitating and providing financing for income generating purposes.
It provides loans at very low rates at 12% per annum within seven days to the farmers for purchasing agricultural equipment, dairy equipment and other assets to farmers.
“Jai Kisan’s platform provides a value proposition to each stakeholder by making their existing processes more efficient and leverages them to further create significant social and economic impact for the farmer and the rural community at large,” said Jai Kisan founder Arjun Ahluwalia.
Till date, Jai Kisan has registered and analysed over 5,500 farmers and is present at over 25 channel partner locations across 12 districts in two states.
According to the company, the fresh funds will be used to extend its financing services to more farmers, increasing the loan book size, and partner with more lending institutions. It also plans to expand its operations across four more states, increase its robust network of channel partners, accelerate customer acquisition and build a team positioned to scale.
In October 2018, the startup was also selected for the Financial Inclusion Lab, a part of IIMA-CIIE’s Bharat Inclusion Initiative (BII) where it is receiving capital, strategic guidance, and market access to build and test their products.
This investment in Jai Kisan is one of the first investments from Blume Venture’s Fund III. The Mumbai-based venture capital fund had announced the first close of its $80 Mn Fund III at $40 Mn in October 2018.
According to December 2018, a report by IBEF, agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for about 58% of India’s population.
In order to develop the income of the farmers, the government also launched the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) on February 24, 2019.
According to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, about 12 Cr farmers are expected to benefit from PM-KISAN scheme. Under this scheme, which was announced during Interim Budget 2019, small and marginal farmers will be given INR 6000 yearly in three instalments of INR 2000.
The first instalment of INR 2,000 was credited to the bank accounts of selected beneficiary farmers on the day if its launch.