Bengaluru-based dairy-tech startup Stellapps has added Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and IndusAge Partners to its list of investors, raising $14 Mn in a recent funding round, according to an ET report.
Other investors that participated in the funding round are Qualcomm Ventures (the investment arm of Qualcomm Incorporated), and ABB Technology Ventures.
Existing investors Omnivore, Blume Ventures, Venture Highway, and BEENEXT also participated in the round.It is backed by industry marquees like Omnivore Capital Flipkart executive chairman Binny Bansal amongst others.
The funding news came on heels of the recent acquisition of another major IoT startup, Zenatix, by hero Electronix.
Also, earlier this month, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation participated in a $12.5 Mn funding commitment given to IIM Ahmedabad’s Center for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) for its $25 Mn Bharat Inclusion Initiative to incubate and seed startups addressing India’s inclusion challenges through technology.
Plans To Utilise Funds
Founded by IITians Ranjith Mukundan and Venkatesh Seshasayee in 2011 and incubated by IIT Madras, Stellapps offers end-to-end dairy technology solutions. The startup produces and procures comprehensive farm optimisation and monitoring support solution to help dairy farmers and cooperatives maximise profits while minimising effort.
According to an ET source, the IoT-focussed startup will use the funding for product development and expansion. The funds will also help Stellapps monitor the quantity and quality of milk, storage facilities, create wearable devices for tracking cattle health, and improve infrastructure for housing cattle.
“Ultimately, the focus is on reducing costs for the farmer by ensuring there are higher milk yields and consistent health of their cattle,” added the source mentioned above.
An email sent to Stellapps did not elicit any response to Inc42 till the time of publication. However, a company representative has confirmed the deal, claims ET.
More On Stellapps
Stellapps leverages new age technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, cloud, mobility, and data analytics to improve agri-supply chain parameters, including milk production, milk procurement, cold chain, animal insurance and farmer payments.
It offers a SmartMoo IoT router and in-premise IoT Controller, which acquire data via sensors embedded in milking systems, animal wearables, milk chilling equipment, and procurement peripherals. The data is then transmitted to its SmartMoo Big Data Cloud Service Delivery Platform (SDP).
The SmartMoo suite of applications then analyses and crunches the received data before disseminating the analytics and data science outcome to various stakeholders over low-end and smart mobile devices.
In July 2017, Stellapps had raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding from Blume Ventures, Flipkart Group CEO Binny Bansal, and Venture Highway. Prior to this, it had also received an undisclosed amount of funding from venture capital firm Omnivore Partners in 2013.
As of now, the Indian government holds 40% of the dairy market and there are quite a few private companies trying to organise this space by bringing in tech. Other major players in this sector are Sumangalam Dairy Farm Solutions, VieMilk Engineering, and Vansun Technologies, which provide automatic milking solutions. However, Stellapps, which has set the world’s largest community milking parlour, has a huge local market to cater to with its IoT-enabled dairy solutions.
[This report has been updated from its earlier version with the list of the existing investors]