Mumbai-based fintech startup Jai Kisan announced that it has raised INR 30 Cr ($3.9 Mn) in Pre-Series A funding round. The investment has been led by Arkam Ventures (previously known as Unitary Helion) with participation from NABVENTURES Fund I, backed by NABARD.
Jai Kisan’s existing investors Blume, Prophetic Ventures and Better Capital also participated in the round. It also saw participation from players like affiliate of The Chatterjee Group (TCG), Rajiv Sahney (New Vernon Capital), Sanjay Mariwala (Omniactive) and others.
Jai Kisan, founded in 2017 by Arjun Ahluwalia and Adriel Maniego, provides cheap financing options for equipment, input and invoice financing for rural borrowers accessible through an app or at any of Jai Kisan’s partners’ tech-enabled locations.
Jai Kisan deploys a B2B2C approach driven by technology, partnering with businesses that sell (inputs, equipment) or procure (buyers, processors, dairies, poultries) across the agri, dairy and poultry value chains. The company says it is able to facilitate cheap financing to rural borrowers at unprecedently low-interest rates, with seamless process flow and quick turnaround.
The company claimed that over the past six months, it has disbursed over INR 50 Cr in loans of top tier credit quality to a diverse set of over 5,500 borrowers from various income groups across 10 states.
“Very few startups have the commanding view of a largely untapped space. Even fewer startups have the luxury of tailwinds in these challenging times. Jai Kisan is a rare combination of both along with a unique business model that adds value to multiple participants of the agri supply chain,” said Rahul Chandra, Managing Director of lead investors – Arkam Ventures.
Jai Kisan is also working closely with banking partners to expand the offering of financial products to the bottom of the pyramid to further enhance their livelihoods (more credit products, savings) while also securing (insurance) the livelihood of the rural customer.
Jai Kisan is partnered with three blue-chip banks and five NBFCs, including being a key Fintech partner for Avanti Finance India Pvt. Ltd to drive financial inclusion in India.
Sajid Fazalbhoy, Venture Advisor at Blume said that Jai Kisan’s robust growth, excellent asset quality and expanding national footprint have made them a highly differentiated and scaleable fintech partner for all rural stakeholders.
According to ‘The Role of Tech-Enabled Formal Financing in Agriculture in India’ report by Rabo Foundation in partnership with ThinkAg and MicroSave Consulting, over 50% of India’s small and marginal farmers are unable to borrow from any source — tech or traditional — leading to a host of issues in production and income.
In 2019, the total agriculture credit disbursed stood at $168 Bn. Out of this, 75% of the capital was disbursed by commercial banks, 13% through cooperative banks and 12% regional rural banks (RRBs).
Some agritech startups which provide financial products and services include Sagri, Samunnati, Arya, Jai Kisan, DeHaat, FarMart, Kissht and Bijak. The past five years have seen about 3,116 startups registered in the food and agriculture sector in the country, this is a 25-30% growth in the number of startups on a year-on-year basis, with approx $500 Mn investment since 2014, as per Rabo Foundation’s report.