Bangalore-based dairy technology startup Stellapps Technologies has raised $14 million in one of the largest equity funding rounds led by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and IndusAge Partners, among others.

IIT-Madras incubated Stellapps Technologies, which is also backed by Flipkart executive chairman Binny Bansal, is touted to be one of the largest dairy IoT platforms in India. The startup had raised seed funding of undisclosed amount from Omnivore Partners, in January 2013.

Founded in 2011 by a group of IITians -- Ranjith Mukundan, Mr. Ravishankar G. Shiroor, Praveen Nale, Mr. Ramakrishna Adukuri, and Venkatesh Seshasayee, Stellapps is an India's first of its kind end-to-end dairy technology solutions company. Their concept includes a Wi-Fi sensor module, a wiimote and IoT router that can be used for smart automatic milk collection unit and cold-chain monitoring, as part of Stellapps IoT platform.

The freshly raised capital will be used by the startup for monitoring the quantity and quality of milk, storage facilities, creating wearable devices for tracking cattle health and infrastructure for housing the cattle. The startup is aiming to focus is on reducing costs for the farmer by ensuring there are higher milk yields and consistent health of their cattle.

In 2017, the company raised an undisclosed amount in a round led by Blume Ventures, along with participation by Binny Bansal, Flipkart Group CEO. In the same year, Stellapps was also the part of Qualcomm Design in India Challenge-II.

Most recently, the startup was selected for IE20 programme's 20 startups selected across India to set up their businesses in London, United Kingdom.

Stellapps' clients include private dairies and dairy farms operating across India, Russia, France and Nepal, among other countries. Currently, Stellapps’ products include various applications for milk production, procurement, cold-chain management, a farmer wallet and cattle insurance application.

According to experts, the Indian government controls approximately 40% of the dairy market. The dairy market in India is largely controlled by the government but there are still a few players emerging in the Indian dairy IoT sector. "The provision of software cloud services speeds up the process, so we can see state governments partnering with startups in this space," said a VC investors tracking dairy technology space.

Speaking about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, it is a private foundation founded by Bill Gates and his wife in year 2000.

Last July, the foundation along with India's Department of Biotechnology had announced a $100,000 award for researchers who are able to come up with some never before seen or heard innovations in health including mental health. Prior to this, in 2016, the foundation had given a grant to Bangalore-based Bempu Health Private Limited for their brilliant concept of saving the lives of the newborn babies in developing countries.

The foundation has earlier funded a project called – “Nano Membrane Toilet” or Water-less Toilet which will be able to treat human waste on-site without external energy or water.

[Top Image - Stellapps co-founders Praveen Nale, Venkatesh Seshasayee, Ramakrishna Adukuri, Ravishankar Shiroor and Ranjith Mukundan | Via - RA Chandroo @Outlookbusiness.com]

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