Impact investor Omnivore has made a fresh bet in the agritech sector as it led a $4.3 Mn (INR 30 Cr) pre-series A round in Gurugram-based online marketplace for farm products and services, DeHaat.
US-based agriculture investor AgFunder and several angel investors also participated in the funding round. Pankaj Chaddah, cofounder of Zomato, as well as another Indian family office, also invested in the round.
Founded in 2012 by Shashank Kumar, DeHaat offers end-to-end agricultural services to farmers, including distribution of high-quality agri inputs, customised farm advisory, access to financial services, and market linkages for selling their produce.
The company enables advisory from a panel of esteemed scientists and advisors and farmers to market their products to ITC, Godrej, Reliance, Metro, etc. of value more than INR 3.5 Cr/month in Bihar, U.P and Odisha.
At present, it is catering to about 56,000 farmers largely in north and eastern India. However, with the latest fund infusion, DeHaat looks to reach out to over 250K farmers over the next 12 months.
It also plans to set up 14 regional warehouses to store inventory and in the next year, it plans to expand to Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
Prior to this round, DeHaat raised about INR 50 Lakh in 2016 from the IIM Calcutta Innovation Centre and INR 50 Lakh in 2014 from angel investors. The company is expecting 3x to 4x growth over the next 18-24 months.
The company is also looking to launch farm credit and crop insurance services later this year.
Jinesh Shah, managing partner of Omnivore, said, “Increasing the profitability of smallholder farmers is the most important priority in rural India, and DeHaat has developed a scalable, sustainable model for doing exactly that.”
With farming touted to be a $400 Bn industry in India, the market is big enough for startups in both the organised and unorganised segments to sustain and build scalable models.
According to a report by Agfunder in association with Impact venture fund Omnivore, the total funding in agrifood startups in India between 2013 and 2017 was $1.66 Bn across 558 deals. According to Inc42 DataLabs, the total funding in agritech startups in India grew from $46.1 Mn 2017 to $66.6 Mn in 2018.