Pune-based Agritech startup Ecozen, which develops technology-enabled products to strengthen the farm-to-fork value chain of perishables, announced today that it has completed its $6M Series A fundraise, after receiving investment from Sathguru Catalyser’s Innovation in Food & Agriculture Fund (IFA Fund). This funding is on top of the investment received in July 2019 from Caspian and the Hivos-Triodos Fund. Omnivore, which originally invested in Ecozen in 2015, also participated in this round.
Ecozen’s products help farmers who grow perishables to increase their yields, store their produce longer, and realize higher prices.
Ecozen’s three core products include:
- Ecofrost – solar powered, portable cold room based on thermal energy storage that enables on-farm cooling and storage of perishable produce immediately after harvest
- Ecotron – smart controller for irrigation pumps
- Eco-Connect – platform that connects farmers growing perishables with organized buyers
Ecofrost helps farmers growing fruits, vegetables, and flowers to radically increase the shelf life of their produce, allowing them to target farther markets and increase their profitability. Ecofrost cold rooms can be leased or purchased upfront and run on solar or grid power. The company also recently launched Ecofrost Link, a modular and more technologically advanced version of Ecofrost, which converts any insulated room into a solar powered cold room. Ecofrost Link is already seeing traction among agri value chain players in India and Africa who want deployments in their pack-houses and distribution centers to keep perishable produce fresh.
Ecotron is a leading solar pump solution in India, embedding IoT & efficient motor technology to provide the most efficient irrigation solution for farmers along with remote monitoring, diagnostics, and predictive analytics. Ecotron has demonstrated clear competitive edge in its existing markets by retaining a major market share nationally.
Eco-Connect is a market linkage platform for farmers growing perishables, connecting them digitally to potential buyers, including exporters, retailers, and processors. Eco-Connect is unique as a marketplace because of its cold chain integration. Just recently
launched, Eco-Connect has already grown to 200 buyers and 75 active sellers on the platform and is expended to scale exponentially in the coming year.
Based in Pune, Ecozen was founded by three IIT Kharagpur alumni, Devendra Gupta, Prateek Singhal and Vivek Pandey, while they were still completing their studies. Approximately 25,000 farmers in India use Ecozen products. Through its innovative “Lease-a-Cold-Room” model, Ecozen is looking at providing cold chain access to farmers across India growing perishable commodities. The company is also on track to double its Ecotron business. A Krishna Kumar, ex-MD of State Bank of India, will be joining Ecozen’s board as the company embarks on its next phase of growth.
Commenting on the completion of the Series A round, Devendra Gupta, Co-Founder & CEO of Ecozen, said, “We are thrilled to partner with the IFA Fund. The funding raised will enable us to expand our product range, production capacity, and enter new geographies. We will also increase the deployment of our leasing based cold chain solution and scale up Eco-Connect massively.”
Commenting on the their investment, Mr. Vijayaraghavan Kannan, Senior Partner at IFA Fund said “Ecozen has focused on using technology as a differentiator and has pioneered innovative products addressing market imperfections and catering to underserved segments of agriculture & food value chain. Businesses with positive environmental externalities and livelihood impacts fit well with IFA’s investment philosophy.”
Ravi Narasimham, Investment Director at Caspian, said, “We have been quite impressed with Ecozen’s progress since we invested, we believe this round of funding will help Ecozen realize its potential by furthering its business strategy across new geographies by launching its innovative product range.”