Digivriddhi Technologies (DGV), an Indian fintech startup focused on the dairy industry, has raised $3.1 million in its pre-Series A round.
Info Edge Ventures, a fund backed by internet giant Info Edge — an early investor in food delivery decacorn Zomato, which went public in July, Singapore sovereign investor Temasek, and agrifoodtech specialist VC Omnivore invested in the deal.
According to DGV, India’s dairy industry is worth $145 billion each year – that’s around a quarter of the country’s agrifood sector and 4% of its entire GDP.
This vast market involves more than 100 million stakeholders, by DGV’s estimation; among them, 75 million dairy farmers, many of whom lack access to basic banking and other financial services.
DGV was established in 2019 to fill this gap in the market. Its founder and CEO is Ragavan Venkatesan, a fintech veteran who’d previously helped to set up the Infrastructure Finance Development Company Bank, the National Payments Corporation of India, and payments services linked to India’s Aadhar national identification scheme.
DGV has partnered with Federal Bank, one of India’s largest private financial services providers, to help underbanked dairy farmers and workers in Gujarat state get access to the services they need.
“Federal Bank’s partnership with DGV is another step towards expanding financial inclusion in the country,” said Shalini Warrier, executive director and business head, retail, at Federal Bank.
“Under this arrangement, we are providing API banking services across payments, liabilities, and relevant asset products to dairy farmers in Gujarat. DGV’s execution model is unique and aids the reimagining of financial access to farmers. We intend to replicate this model in other parts of the country, and are confident that this collaboration with DGV will revolutionize the dairy neo-banking space.”
The Bengaluru-based startup said that it is already working with several of India’s leading dairy unions and milk cooperative societies to provide their farmer-partners with payments capabilities, loans, and other financial products. It also aims to introduce “productivity enhancement tools” for its farmer customers.
“The Indian dairy industry is the largest dairy market globally,” said Info Edge Ventures partner Kitty Agarwal. “Despite the huge size of this industry and its importance to our livelihoods, dairy farmers lack access to basic financial products and services and even struggle to access cash conveniently. We are very excited to partner with Ragavan, who is extremely passionate about bettering the lives of these dairy farmers and bringing much-needed financial inclusion to them.”
Omnivore managing partner Jinesh Shah said that his firm “would be hard-pressed to find an entrepreneur better suited, or equipped, than Ragavan to take on a problem of this magnitude and complexity.”
Venkatesan said: “We are delighted to welcome Info Edge Ventures and Omnivore to lead our first institutional round. Info Edge Ventures’ experience in scaling digital marketplaces, and Omnivore’s deep experience in agritech, will allow us to create an unmatched full-service platform for dairy farmers.”