Gurugram-based agritech startup Intello Labs has raised a $2 Mn seed round from Nexus Venture Partners and Omnivore. The startup will use the funding to strengthen its product and boost its global expansion.
Intello Labs is leveraging artificial intelligence to build a platform for grading and quality monitoring of agricultural commodity. Intello’s AI uses a photo of the commodity sample to generate instantaneous quality metrics.
This image-based solution is accessible through a smartphone application and is aimed at bringing transparency and standardisation to quality assessment along with reducing value risk and wastage in the agriculture supply chains.
“Without the standardisation and digitisation of quality assessment of agricultural produce, e-Mandi and digital agriculture markets will remain a distant dream. Digital quality assessment coupled with pricing algorithms can prove to be game changing for farmers, commodity traders and large corporates in the years to come.” said Puneet Kumar, vice president of Nexus Venture Partners.
Intello Labs was founded in 2016 by Milan Sharma, Nishant Mishra, Himani Shah and Devendra Chandani. The startup had previously raised funds from multiple angel investors and was also a part of two accelerator programmes — Indigram Labs and JioGenNext.
The company wants to become the de-facto quality platform across agribusiness value chains for trading, procurement, grading, pricing, marketing, and traceability. Intello Labs is already working with several global food companies, and has developed ready-to-use solutions for fruits, vegetables, and spices.
Currently the company is focused on large enterprise clients, but they plan to eventually expand as a SaaS (software-as-a-service) product for small businesses, traders, and farmers.
Commenting on the investment, Mark Kahn, managing partner of Omnivore, said, “For years, Omnivore has been searching for an agritech startup disrupting the opaque and subjective system of commodity grading in India, which hurts the entire value chain, especially farmers. Intello Labs will bring transparency and objectivity across agribusiness supply chains, helping farmers to capture the value they create.”
Agritech Sector Overview
According to Inc42 DataLabs, the total funding in agritech startups in India has grown from $46.1 Mn (INR 320 Cr) 2017 to $66.6 Mn (INR 463 Cr) in 2018, which is indicative of the investor’s growing interest in India’s agritech sector.
Also, recently in the past three months six other agritech startups have received funding. Starting with Chennai-based WayCool Foods which raised $16.9 Mn (INR 120 Cr) from LGT Impact, prominent angels, Northern Arc Capital, and Caspian in January 2019. Closely followed by the Pre-Series A round funding of Chandigarh-based AgNext from venture capital fund Kalaari Capital.
Then in March, Bengaluru-based, TartanSense had raised $2 Mn seed funding from Omnivore, Blume Ventures, and BEENEXT. Just a day after that, another Bengaluru-based startup Aibono raised $2.5 Mn (INR 17.4 Cr) in Pre-Series A funding round led by Menterra Venture Advisors.
Further in the same month, Pune-based startup, AgroStar raised $27 Mn (INR 188 Cr) Series C funding led by Bertelsmann India. This was followed by Omnivore investing $4.3 Mn (INR 30 Cr) pre-series A round in Gurugram-based DeHaat.