FreshoKartz Agri Products, an agritech start-up has received Rs 10 crore ($1.4 million) pre-series-A funding from Rajasthan Venture Capital Fund (RVCF) and AWE (Achieving Women Equity) funds to finance its rapid technology rollout while scaling its operations as a provider of premier technology-enabled omnichannel supply chain optimising solutions along with agronomy advisory and output linkages.
Speaking on the success of latest round of funding, Rajendra Lora, Founder, FreshoKartz said, “Even during COVID-19 crisis, our company has witnessed significant growth which is driven by our team’s differentiated understanding of India’s agricultural supply chain, its markets and its participants given our personal farming backgrounds. This helps us execute effectively as an effective and integrated agriculture supply chain company. Getting RVCF and AWE Funds’ investment support will help expand and consolidate our footprint not only in Rajasthan but also in neighbouring states.”
Chandrakanta Sahu, Co-founder of the start-up noted, “We are delighted with the powerful combination of our two investors who bring significant synergistic value to our company in helping us develop our organisation with more than just capital. The vast experiences of the two teams, their associated networks and their focus on not only commercial returns but also a genuine interest in improvement in lives of farmers, especially women farmers, has made this a very valuable partnership.”
FreshoKartz will be using these funds for expansion within Rajasthan and other nearby states like Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and other northern states of India. The funds will be used in capacity building, technological development and geographic expansion.
Gaurav Chowdhry, VP at RVCF said, “It is pertinent for us to look at start-ups which can sustain in these challenging times by differentiation and innovation. By focusing on farmers’ multitude of farming needs, Freshokartz is providing full stack solutions for better farm outcomes. The team has strong execution capabilities and expect to see significant growth in the coming years. We are happy to partner with FreshoKartz in the journey.”
Seema Chaturvedi, Founder & Managing Partner, AWE Funds said, “At AWE Funds, given our team’s deep agri expertise, we believe that the agritech industry is poised for rapid growth. Furthermore, we found FAPL’s focus on appropriate and adaptable farmer-centric technology especially on the downstream input side of the supply chain to be a very compelling investment thesis. Added to the fact that the main beneficiaries are marginal farmers of whom 70 percent are women, this investment is very aligned with our gender lens focused investment mandate in Achieving Women Equity.”
According to FreshoKartz, it is operating 40 physical centres in Rajasthan and working with more than 90,000 farmers. The start-up has target to reach 10 lakh farmers in the next 12 to 15 months. It is working with more than 100 agri input companies including UPL, Chambal Fertilizers to provide best agri inputs to farmers’ doorsteps. FreshoKartz has developed mobile app where farmers can place orders from nearby centers. The business model has been built bottom-up where most of the team comes from farming background and are providing solutions to the farm level pain points of the farmers.
FreshoKartz provides soil-based crop and fertilisers recommendation to farmers through agronomists and through call centre. It has opened network or digitalised physical agriculture kiosks at the village level and delivers agri advisory, inputs and collect farmers’ output. It also facilitates farmers in getting finance and insurance through partners. It is building a hybrid model for farmers where they get pre and post-harvest agriculture-related services, the start-up has said.
Founded in 2016, FreshoKartz Agri Products provides technology-enabled full stack of services to small and marginal farmers including agricultural inputs, crop advisory, output linkages, crop insurance and financing to optimise a currently inefficient agriculture supply chain while enhancing price realisation by farmers.