Noida-based agritech startup Unnati has raised $1.7 Mn in Pre-Series A funding round from Nabventures Fund to scale up its tech platform and introduce digital technologies to farmers in India.
A part of the funding will also be used for setting up more partner stores for selling agri inputs and purchasing produce in Eastern, Central and Western India. Besides this, the company is also looking to invest in increasing our geographical and crop footprint.
The current investment transaction has also been supported by Sumeet Seraf who acted as an advisor on the transaction.
Prior to this, the tech-driven platform had raised funding from angel investors including Paytm’s founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, KRS Jamwal, current and former Paytm senior executives Vikas Garg, Shankar Nath, Renu Satti, Gemba Capital and Ajay Lakhotia.
Unnati was founded in 2015 by Amit Sinha, former CFO of Paytm and IIM Calcutta alumnus, and Ashok Prasad, who has previously worked in Tata Teleservices and Paytm. Unnati is a tech-enabled platform that provides access to competitively priced inputs to and enables them to access better markets in a fair and transparent manner. It also provides financial services to the farmer besides point-of-purchase farm advisories.
Cofounder Prasad said, “At Unnati, our overarching goal is to empower the country’s farmers and bring the best of technologies to enhance their productivity. Since we cater to a multitude of farming needs, the current capital injection will allow us to expand our value proposition in terms of innovative digital tools that we offer.”
Dr G R Chintala, chairperson of Nabard and Nabventures,said that Unnati has created a platform to digitise major components in the food and agribusiness value chain.
He believes that the predictive capabilities of the data captured by the platform will enhance efficiency while building a sense of trust with the farmers due to its transparent process. Meanwhile, Nabvantures COO Manikumar S, added, “The amalgamation of a fintech layer has resulted in customer stickiness.”
According to Inc42 Plus report, the agritech startups raised $244.59 Mn in 2019, representing an increase of over 350% from 2018. In 2020, even the Indian government has decided to take notice of the segment and is looking to invest nearly INR 36.71 Cr in 346 agritech startups.
The government is looking for startups in agritech and allied sectors like agro-processing, artificial intelligence, digital agriculture, farm mechanisation, waste to wealth, dairy, fisheries among others. Some of the startups in this domain are AgNext, Farm Theory, Aquaconnect, Fasal, Intello Labs and others.