Ag Tech Investments News

Ag Tech is Emerging as Hot Sector for Investors

Bangalore: This year, for investor agriculture-technology is emerging as one of the hottest sectors, primarily for the mountains of data these start-ups are able to harvest.

According to entrepreneurs and investors, leading venture capital firms including Accel India and SAIF Partners are evaluating several agritech firms to invest in. IDG Ventures-backed Agrostar is in advanced talks with Accel to raise $10-12 million. Agrostar is a platform for farmers to procure raw materials.

The company has more than 5, 00,000 farmers using its mobile application and which raised $4 million in 2015. Goldfarm, an aggregation platform for farm equipment, is in preliminary talks to raise $3-5 million from SAIF Partners.

Cofounder of Goldfarm, AbhilashTirupathy said, "The funds raised will be focused on technological upgradations." Last year, Crofarm, an agricultural supply chain technology start-up that raised $1.5 million and now between April and September, is looking to raise $7 million to allow farmers to take their produce beyond Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

Investors such as Omnivore Partners and Aspada Investments are seeing interest in their portfolio companies from venture capital and private equity investors and also that are focused on the agri-tech sector.

European family management and other such funds are likely to consider investing in India as many of these have capital allocated for investment in agriculture in emerging markets, according to Kushal Agrawal, partner at Aspada Investments.

Three Omnivore portfolio companies are in the market to raise money. Stellapps Technologies is in talks to raise $8-9 million, it is an Internet-of-Things platform in the dairy sector; Ecozen, solar solutions start-up, is seeking to raise $5 million; and YCook, an organic, aims to raise $5 million this year, it is ready-to-cook processed foods start-up.

Jinesh Shah, founding partner at Omnivore said, "Data is going to be a big investment within agri-tech. Start-ups are using drones or tractor-based solutions to get data on field, and that's definitely a hot area."


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