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DeHaat management team
The DeHaat management team. Image credit: PRNewsfoto / DeHaat

Farmer marketplace DeHaat scores $115m in India’s biggest-ever agtech round

October 27, 2021

Disclosure: AFN’s parent company, AgFunder, is an investor in DeHaat.

Ag marketplace DeHaat has raised $115 million in Series D funding, it announced today. The round was co-led by Belgium’s Sofina and Indian branch of the UK’s Lightrock.

Singapore sovereign fund Temasek participated as a new investor, with existing backers including RTP Global, Sequoia Capital, Naspers-affiliated Prosus Ventures, and Dutch development bank FMO also taking part.

The nine-figure haul is the largest on record for an Indian agtech startup, according to AgFunder data.

“DeHaat is bringing substantial value-add to the farming community in India. The uniqueness of its full-stack approach, combined with the ‘phy-gital’ go-to-market strategy, further reaffirmed our view that the company is on track to become a significant player,” Sofina principal Yana Kachurina said in a statement.

Lightrock India partner Vaidhehi Ravindran said that her firm was “impressed with [DeHaat’s] steep growth trajectory combined with a strong network of micro-entrepreneurs.”

“Through innovative social engineering and tech-led execution, DeHaat has built the largest first-mile network for farmers and is well positioned to help transform agriculture by improving yields and farmer income,” she added.

AFN has partnered with FMO to launch a dedicated Africa edition to support agrifood innovation on the continent. Find out more here

Patna-based DeHaat describes itself as a “full-stack agritech platform,” linking smallholder farmers across India with input vendors, agronomists, distributors, financing options, and other service providers. More than 850 of these “unique agribusiness entities” are active on the platform, it says.

The startup has also recruited over 3,000 ‘micro-entrepreneurs’ to serve as a first-and-last-mile rural logistics network, providing both delivery of inputs and other products to farmers as well as collection of their produce for delivery onwards to distributors and other offtakers.

“We at DeHaat are on a mission to build the world’s largest agritech platform,” Shashank Kumar, co-founder and CEO, said in a statement.

“Our team has grown to a brigade of 850-plus professionals with deep expertise in growth strategy, supply chain, technology, and agricultural science. The last seven months have been phenomenal, with 5x growth for DeHaat.”

Until now, the startup’s presence has largely been focused on India’s northeastern states — where it serves close to 650,000 farmers — but it plans to expand its reach in other parts of the country.

“We are now well poised to replicate that success in all major agriculture clusters of India in the next 12 to 15 months,” Kumar said.

DeHaat has raised a total of $157 million from “marquee” investors over the last 30 months, he added.

In January, it closed its Series C round, raising $30 million from investors including Prosus, AgFunder, and Omnivore (the latter has “partially exited” the company as a result of the Series D round, alongside earlier investor Pi Capital, according to a statement.)

The startup raised $12 million for its March 2020 Series B round.

In February this year, it acquired spatial imagery and data science startup FarmGuide to further bolster its marketplace and advisory services. That was DeHaat’s second strategic acquisition since it launched in 2012, following its 2019 takeover of inputs marketplace VezaMart.

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