Indian startup AgNext has raised an undisclosed seed round led by India-focused Agtech VC Omnivore Partners along with Singaporean angel investor Samir Kumar.
Before harvest, AgNext provides a varied suite of precision agriculture tools including advanced crop modeling using remote sensing data combined with on-field IoT sensors, yield monitoring, nutrient status, pest and disease prediction, moisture and irrigation data among other parameters. These functions are provided through a mobile app.
“Our technology enables highly efficient and timely control of inputs like water, fertilizer, and pesticides, so as to maximize yield and minimize losses. Lack of information on soil nutrients can lead to wasteful and hazardous use of the wrong fertilizers leading to adverse impact on crop,” AgNext CEO Taranjeet Bhamra told AgFunderNews.
The Chandigarh-based startup also provides hyperspectral handheld devices to measure nutrient content, leaf moisture, and active ingredient content, which Omnivore Ventures principal Subhadeep Sanyal said allows for real-time monitoring and traceability tracking.
“Both data streams enable growers to better manage their resources and build profitability in their business,” said Sanyal.
Post-harvest, Agnext offers processors real-time value assessment using the same handheld hyperspectral devices to measure impurities and nutrient or active ingredient content. The company is also developing a handheld device that could detect hazardous compounds in the harvested produce.
“This, in turn, enables them to procure better quality produce and provide the growers with pricing requisite to the quality they supply,” said Sanyal.
AgNext will also soon be launching a spectral analytics service that can analyze soil composition. The startup is focused on horticulture, floriculture and row crops, and has an initial customer base across India.
“This investment will help AgNext scale its team, build more innovative product solutions, and serve clients across Indian and international markets. We believe AgNext will make India a global hub for agricultural analytics,” said Bhamra.
He continued, “By leveraging machine learning capabilities with the cloud, we are going to significantly invest in our R&D capabilities and expand our range of product offerings in composition and contamination detection in agriculture value chain.”
AgNext is the second investment for Omnivore’s new fund after the VC invested in India’s latest farm-to-consumer delivery platform, Doodhwalaearlier this year. Omnivore announced the first close of its second fund, Omnivore Partners India Fund 2, on $46 million in February.
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