Farmitoo, a France-based online marketplace for farm equipment, has raised €10 million ($11.9 million) in fresh funding.
The round saw participation from Parisian VC Ventech, Toulouse-based IXO Private Equity, and French government-linked bank Bpifrance, which invested out of its Ambition Amorçage Angels fund (F3A) alongside several unnamed angel investors.
According to Farmitoo, more and more farmers and growers across Europe are buying equipment online rather than through the traditional physical channels. The Paris-based startup says that the average farmer is spending €10,000 each year to buy farm equipment online; while the 2020 edition of the Agrinautes study — an annual survey of French farmers carried out by Terre-net and La France Agricole to track tech adoption trends — found that 70% of respondents shop for equipment online.
Farmitoo’s platform brings offerings from several of Europe’s largest ag equipment manufacturers and suppliers under one roof. Farmers can browse over 150,000 products from more than 350 brands on the site.
Working directly with manufacturers allows it to “reduce the number of intermediaries [in the supply chain] and guarantee farmers fair and competitive prices” while providing transparency and cost savings on both sides of the table, the startup claims.
Farmitoo’s direct delivery of purchases to the farm gate saves farmers as much as two days of travel each month. The startup says it also offers “personalized” technical advice and support to its customers in much the same way as physical farm gear stores would.
This package would seem to have proven attractive to many farmers across the continent, with more than 25,000 using Farmitoo to purchase equipment.
On the manufacturers’ side, 45% have reported making first-time sales in a new country since joining the Farmitoo platform.
The startup says it will use the latest funding to expand its own presence internationally. Already operating in France as well as Austria, Belgium, Germany, and Italy, it’s aiming to launch in Spain and the Netherlands by the end of this year. Some of the capital will also go towards hires in order to grow out its team, which currently stands at 40 staff.
The latest round follows an initial 1 million euros ($1.18 million) raise in 2018, and a second 1.5 million ($1.78 million) injection last year. Bpifrance took part in both earlier rounds of investment.
“When we invested in Farmitoo three years ago, we bet on a team that had convinced us by its ambition and its values. Since then, [Farmitoo] has performed well and has continued to iterate on its product, rationalize its operations, and strengthen its inventory,” Edwige Kharoubi, investment director at Bpifrance, said in a statement.
“It is to continue to nurture this ambition that we have chosen to make a significant reinvestment, and we are delighted to welcome Ventech and IXO Private Equity to our side.”
Claire Houry, general partner at Ventech, said that the founders of Farmitoo first came to meet the VC “with the ambition of creating the B2B market leader for the sale of agricultural equipment in Europe.”
“This sector is still little digitalized, and without a leader in Europe. Farmitoo is already present in five European countries, which impressed us. It’s quite rare for a team in France to succeed in creating a business with that ‘international DNA’ from inception.”