Arya
An Arya warehouse. Image credit: Arya

With $60m in fresh funding, Arya is eyeing a $20bn slice of India’s grain market

January 20, 2022

Indian post-harvest services startup Arya has closed $60 million in Series C funding.

The Noida-based startup provides logistics, warehousing, and financing solutions aimed at small-scale grain growers, whose lack of sufficient access to such services can lead to lost income and food waste.

The bigger picture:

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that as much as 40% of food produced in India is wasted before it reaches consumers, amounting to $14 billion in lost value – and compounding the country’s chronic hunger problem (it was ranked 101st out 116 countries by the 2021 Global Hunger Index.)

A study by India’s National Academy of Agricultural Sciences found that a lack of adequate storage is the major cause of post-harvest food losses in the country. A conservative estimate puts average post-harvest, pre-consumption loss of grains at 6%, driven mainly by storage in insufficient bags, spillage, rodent attacks, contamination, and theft.

To avoid these outcomes, large-scale growers can generally afford to transport their produce farther afield, or use higher-quality storage facilities. But small-scale growers and smallholders typically seek to sell their produce as quickly as possible; during the post-harvest glut, that means they often have to sell at throwaway prices, representing a lost income opportunity.

How it works:

  • Arya seeks out smaller-scale warehouses and storage facilities, conveniently located close to farming communities, and lists these on its online platform.
  • Growers can use the online portal to search for, compare, and book suitable warehouses where they can store their produce after harvesting and prior to sale.
  • Arya also offers financing solutions to cover cash-strapped farmers’ costs between harvest and sale; as well as an online marketplace for buying and selling agri-commodities. It claims to have handled around $2 billion in grain transactions to date.
  • “Because we hold the commodity in our warehouses, we have complete visibility into quantity and quality. This is how we are able to establish a connect between the buyer and seller,” co-founder Prasanna Rao told TechCrunch.

Corporate partnerships:

Future plans:

“We intend to use the funding to capture more than 20% of the $100 billion grain commerce market,” Rao told The Economic Times.

Arya has close to 10,000 warehouses across 21 states in its network at the moment, up from just 1,500 a year ago; its target is to grow this to 60,000 over the next four years.

“Given that there has been substantial growth in our volumes and that the lending book has expanded […] we have already initiated a [further] $100 million fundraise which should be done in the first half of the current calendar year,” Rao said.

By the numbers:

Indian startups focused on the ‘messy middle’ of the agrifood value chain raised a combined $176 million across 29 deals in FY21, according to research by VC firm AgFunder – making Midstream Technologies the country’s most active category in terms of deal volume [disclosure: AgFunder is AFN‘s parent company]

Midstream Technologies is a category created by AgFunder’s research team to cover everything in the food value chain that sits between the farm (or the lab) and consumer-facing areas like retail and foodservice: it includes logistics and transportation, processing, food waste mitigation, farmer-to-business e-commerce, and safety and quality testing, among other areas.

Arya was among the top-funded Midstream Technologies startups in India during the last financial year, raising $21 million in Series B funding in December 2020.

Join the Newsletter

Get the latest news & research from AFN and AgFunder in your inbox.

Share on email
Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on skype
Join the Newsletter
Get the latest news and research from AFN & AgFunder in your inbox.

Follow us:

Advertisement
Advertisement
AGF_ReachAds2.jpg
Advertisement
Join Newsletter