ImpactAlpha, May 1 – India’s economy is still largely agricultural. The income of smallholder farmers can be depressed by middlemen who can control pricing and inflate margins.
Investors are backing agtech startups to help farmers sell directly to hotels, restaurants, cafes, hostels, retailers and other food businesses.
Bengaluru-based Ninjacart recently raised $89 million (Rs 625 crore) from U.S.-based venture capital firm Tiger Global. The platform, valued at $350 million, connects more than 12,000 farmers to businesses in seven cities.
FreshoKartz, based in Rajasthan, raised an undisclosed seed round from Chennai-based investor Sunil Kumar Singhvi and other angel and high-net worth investors. The fruit and vegetable delivery startup, which claims to work with more than 15,000 farmers, helps users buy directly from farmers and municipal vegetable and fruit markets.
In January, Chennai-based fresh food distributor WayCool raised $16.9 million.
Investment in India food and agriculture startups jumped 280% last year to $2.4 billion, including a $1 billion raise by restaurant marketplace Swiggy, according to AgFunder. That makes India the world’s third-largest market for food and agtech investment.