Accel India leads a $10 million series B round in agri-tech start-up AgroStar. Existing investors IDG Ventures and Aavishkaar also participated in this round. AgroStar has built a technology platform and uses data analytics and agronomy expertise to provide real time solutions to farmers in India.
India has over 100 million farmers who face challenges ranging from duplication of agri inputs, substandard products and the lack of tehincal know-how to grow their crop. These problems have led to very low farm productivity, resulting in Indian yields being lower than the world average for most of the crops. AgroStar is solving these challenges by providing real time solutions to farmers through its technology platform accessible to the farmer by a simple “missed call” and it’s android app. AgroStar has over 1 million farmers connected on its platform and is currently operational in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
Assurance of expert agronomy advice, complete solutions for farming needs, a wide range of agri input products and convenient delivery at the farmer’s doorsteps are some the key value propositions for the farmer. AgroStar has partnered with leading national and multinational brands whose agri input products are available on the AgroStar platform.
With the present funding, AgroStar intends to solidify its leadership position in the agri-tech space and have a pan India presence in the next 2 years. It also plans to build its leadership team and further strengthen its technology and data analytics platform. A pioneer in bringing m-commerce to rural India, AgroStar is observing a rapid increase in rural smartphone penetration along with increasing data consumption in rural India. Over 35% of the company’s current customer base is using WhatsApp, up from just 10% a year ago.To capitalize on this trend, the company intends to further invest in building it’s farmer engagement products like the AgroStar mobile app.
Commenting on the investment, Prashanth Prakash, Partner, Accel India, said, “There is a huge scope to implement technology to solve the inherent problems faced by farmers in India. In a mobile first country like India, AgroStar has clearly demonstrated that farmers in India are ready to adapt the latest in technology that can make their lives simpler and improve their productivity. We are happy to be partnering with AgroStar in their journey to build a successful agri tech company.”
Shardul Sheth, CEO, Founder, AgroStar said, “Farmers in India face significant challenges at every point from buying agri-inputs, to improving their yields and finally getting a good price for their produce. We are working hard on solving some of these challenges through technology to make farming more sustainable and profitable for farmers. We are fortunate to have investors like Accel, IDG Ventures and Aavishkaar backing us in our mission to simplify the agri-business experience for farmers in rural India.”