Data Snapshot is a regular AFN feature in which we analyze agrifoodtech market investment data provided by our parent company, AgFunder. Click here for more research from AgFunder and sign up to our newsletter to receive alerts about new research reports.
India agrifoodtech saw $97 million deployed across 110 Seed stage deals in FY21, up significantly from $35 million across 50 deals in FY20, according to AgFunder’s ‘India AgriFood Startup Investment Report’ compiled in partnership with leading Indian agrifoodtech VC Omnivore.
Top Seed stage deals were for upstream solutions closer to the farm such as farm management software, agribusiness marketplaces, and farm mechanization and equipment. Thanks to Covid-19-related lockdowns, labor shortages, supply chain issues, and economic slowdown, upstream deals surpassed downstream in India agrifood for the first time in FY21.
Notable seed stage deals
The top Seed stage deals of FY21 in India agrifoodtech suggest an increased demand for solutions that can provide better access to markets, working capital, and precision-based technologies that can enhance agriculture.
- Hyperspectral imagery startup Pixxel raised the largest Seed round in the agrifoodtech space when it emerged from stealth and secured $7.3 million from Lightspeed, Blume, GrowX, Omnivore, and Techstars.
- Jai Kisan, a fintech platform for smallholder farmers, raised $3.9 million from Arkam Ventures, Blume, and Better Capital. (Mumbai-based Jai Kisan also went on to raise $30 million Series A later in 2021.)
- Agri-commodity procurement platform Procol raised $3.8 million from Sequoia’s Surge, Beenext, and Blume.
- Farmer social network Krishify raised $2.9 million from Orios and Omidyar Network.
- Wholesale produce marketplace Vegrow raised $2.5 million from Matrix Partners and Ankur Capital.
- Precision ag platform Absolute Foods raised $2.3 million from Surge.
As the AgFunder/Omnivore report highlights, the Covid-19 pandemic battered the agrifood supply chain and caused substantial economic slowdown in India, not to mention one of the world’s largest and longest lockdowns. These and other factors contributed to an increased need for technologies that make managing and financing farm operations in India more efficient.
Agrifoodtech entrepreneurs were largely responsible for keeping smallholder farmers and food supply chains afloat as they and investors discovered a wealth of untapped opportunities for Seed stage companies.