AgroStar was founded in April 2013 by Shardul Sheth and Sitanshu Sheth. It is an mcommerce platform for agriculture and has built a technology platform and uses data analytics and agronomy expertise to provide real-time solutions to farmers in India. It is a direct-to-farmer digital platform where farmers can procure quality agri inputs at fair price just by using a mobile phone.
Shardul Sheth, CEO, co-founder, AgroStar said, “Farmers in India face significant challenges at every point from buying agri-inputs, to improving their yields and finally getting a good price for their produce. We are working hard on solving some of these challenges, through technology, to make farming more sustainable and profitable for farmers. We are fortunate to have investors like Accel, IDG Ventures, and Aavishkaar backing us in our mission to simplify the agri-business experience for farmers in rural India.”
According to a company statement, AgroStar has over 1 Mn farmers connected on its platform and is currently operational in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan.
The startup will use the newly raised funding to solidify its leadership position in the agri-tech space and have a pan India presence in the next two years. It also plans to build its leadership team and further strengthen its technology and data analytics platform.
In August 2015, AgroStar raised $4 Mn in a round led by IDG ventures. As per IBEF, over 58% of the rural households depend on agriculture as their principal means of livelihood. The agriculture sector in India is expected to generate better momentum in the next few years due to government initiatives and increased investments in agricultural infrastructure.
Agritech is a vertical that has caught the eye of investors in the last two years. In February 2017, Hyderabad-based consulting organisation Sathguru Management Consultants announced its plans of launching a $100 Mn fund. The Food and Agriculture Fund (IFAF) will invest approximately $8 Mn in 8-12 companies and will take up a minority stake.
In October 2016, Mahindra Univeg invested an undisclosed amount in ecommerce startup MeraKisan. Other startups working in the agritech domain include Vegfru, an online B2B marketplace for fruit and vegetable trade, fruit and vegetable supply chain startup Lemon Leaf, DayBox, etc.