The start-up aims to provide an end-to-end solution to simplify the complex logistics processes in the Indian agricultural sector by eliminating the middleman and connecting the farmers to the retailers

Mumbai, 2nd December, 2020: Venture Catalysts, India's first and largest integrated incubator and accelerator, 9Unicorns Accelerator Fund and WFC (We founder's Circle) have recently led an undisclosed investment in Humus, an Agri-tech start-up solving the complex supply chain issues in the Indian agricultural sector.

Founded in 2019 by Manjunatha T N and Shilpa Gopalaiah, Humus aims to disrupt the Indian agriculture supply chain industry by addressing the pain points involving logistics of fresh produce through technology. Due to slow technological advancements in the Indian agricultural sector, farmers continue to face risks related to irregular payments, uneven demand, and inept distribution. These circumstances are being exploited by the middleman who, through unfair practices like hoarding and controlling the prices both at the procurement and at the final sale to the customers. This leads to the customers paying increased prices for low-quality produce sold in unhygienic conditions. 

Humus obtained hands-on experience and understanding of the logistics challenges prevalent in the sector by visiting mandis, markets, transport agencies, collection and sorting centres to farmers and middlemen. This led to the creation of a working model aimed at reliable, cost effective, and sensible logistics by eliminating the middleman in the overall logistics process. The fresh produce is directly sourced from the farmers to the retailers in a convenient and timely manner from where the customers can buy it directly. By focusing on crop input for good yield and accurate procurement of the end product to the retailers, 

Humus aims to accomplish a two-fold vision – better prices, consistent demand, and reliable ways of selling produce for the farmers and fresh top-quality produce at fair market price for the customers. 

The Soil-to-Home model 2.0, they are focusing on fundamentals to accomplish our vision of safeguarding the interests of key stakeholders and establish wholesale and retail outlets for fresh farm produce in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.

Speaking on the investment, Spokesperson– Humus, said, "On behalf of Humus, we welcome the team at Venture Catalysts & We Founders Circle to join us in our journey to disrupt the agri-fresh supply chain in India with our ground-breaking offerings, business model and business ideas. Our concept has already been recognized by market leaders and our scalable business model is setting the trend for industry standards. Our team members come with deep domain knowledge and out of the box thinking and are committed to providing solutions for any size of scaling. With Venture Catalysts joining us we are excited to work with a team of like-minded and determined individuals, all sharing a vision for success. We are confident that our collaboration would significantly boost our offerings to become an industry sensation. We are also very happy to announce that we launched India's First Organised Veg & Fruit Hub, on 19th November in Bengaluru, a disruption moment that will provide direct benefit of mandi price & farm fresh quality to the end consumer at their doorstep".

Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, Co-founder & President – Venture Catalysts & 9Unicorns, commented, "Humus aims to provide a full stack supply chain solution by connecting the stages of production, procurement, processing and marketing of fresh produce. This will not only maintain a consistent and fair market price for both the farmers and the consumers but will also minimize everyday wastage of quality produce. The start-up's vision to promote sustainable agricultural practices for better produce addresses the some of the most pressing need-gaps in the agricultural sector. We sincerely hope that funds help the founding team in creating a brighter and more successful future for their company."

Neeraj Tyagi, Co-founder & CEO – WeFounder Circle, commented, "Agriculture is a big segment which is all set for disruption in India. But to make an impact, it needs matured founders like Manjunath who is perfect blend of farming background, is a technology expert & engineering teacher turned successful entrepreneur. I had personally been big fan of Manjunath & Shilpa from their last successful venture Royal Brothers & we have always been sharing ecosystem updates with each other. I am sure with their committed vision & strong execution strength, they will create Humus as one of the biggest impact company in agriculture domain."

Moving ahead, Humus plans to adopt more sustainable practices like shifting from chemical to natural and organic farming which is currently overpriced and exploited. By removing the misconception that organic farming produces lesser yields and is more expensive, the start-up envisions removing the price difference between regular and organic produce. In doing so, it aims to provide the consumers with an easy access to healthier produce at fair prices. With its new upcoming vegetables and fruits supermarket, the start-up is an inch closer to re-defining the shopping experience of end-consumers.

About Venture Catalysts

Venture Catalysts is India's first integrated incubator. It invests $250K – $1.5 Million in early stage start-ups that have potential to create enduring value for over a long period of time. Venture Catalysts brings a lethal combination of Capital, Mentoring and Business Network to help investee companies to succeed. Their innovation provides value to start-ups through its extensive angel network, funding, community, services and co-working facility.

About 9Unicorns

9Unicorns is India's First Accelerator VC. It provides acceleration support & seed funding to early-stage startups. 9Unicorns provides funding upto $100K per startup in the first round, and may invest further $500K-$2Mn in successive rounds with its co-investors. From idea stage to angel stage, it supports startups across various themes & sectors.

9Unicorns' strength & focus is on a hands-on support ecosystem for startups, beyond capital. 9Unicorns, besides investment, opens doors to the startups for access to a wide network of successful founders, category-leaders, CXOs of large corporations, seasoned angel investors & partners of global VC funds. Every portfolio company receives an acceleration support for 3 months & post-investment support of 18 months.

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