Onato founders
Onato co-founders Ashish Jindal (left) and Vedant Katiyar (right). Image credit: Onato

Onato scores seed funding to digitalize India’s fruit & veg supply chain

October 19, 2021

Onato, a B2B online platform for fresh produce, has raised $2.2 million in seed funding.

The round was led by Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India — an affiliate of Singaporean sovereign fund Temasek — with participation from local agrifoodtech VC firm Omnivore.

The Bengaluru-based startup said it will use the funding to grow its team and scale up its operations.

Onato was launched in February this year by Vedant Katiyar — who had previously founded another data-centric agtech startup, called Gobasco — and Ashish Jindal, an engineer who has served stints with Amazon and food delivery unicorn Swiggy, among other tech companies.

According to Katiyar and Jindal, India’s fresh fruit and vegetable industry is worth over $100 billion per annum.

However, it is plagued with inefficiencies — from unreliable payments and arbitrary pricing, to lack of access to financing and other resources — which mean that the market, and its stakeholders, are losing out.

“More than 60% of the population of India is dependent on agriculture, and yet tech penetration in the agri-supply chain is quite low. Decision making is mostly intuition-driven, which leads to a lot of volatility in prices and wastage,” Katiyar said in a statement.

Onato aims to solve these problems using data and technology to enable price transparency and enhance fulfillment.

The platform seeks to link suppliers and buyers of fresh produce across India, opening up more buy and sell opportunities for players on both sides of the transaction while also facilitating more timely payments.

The startup vets all users who apply to join the platform, and promises that all user data is “100% safe and secure” and is never shared with third parties.

“We envision that by harnessing the power of on-ground data, we can create a revolutionary change in the existing agri value-chain which will result in better value distribution for all participants from farmer up to end-consumer,” Jindal said.

Kanika Mayar, executive director of Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India, said in a statement that “most of India’s fresh supply moves through inefficient supply chains due to fragmented volumes, arbitrary pricing, and complex credit management.”

“Onato aims to solve for these critical bottlenecks, and we are excited to partner with Vedant and Ashish [in] their mission.”

Jinesh Shah, managing partner of Omnivore, added: “Onato’s well-crafted digital intervention and robust fulfillment process are easing the burden of credit in the supply chain. The startup is also solving the issue of income instability in Indian agriculture that so often compels farmers to exit farming altogether.”

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