Pune-based AgroStar Raises $27 Million Funding Led by Bertelsmann India
Pune-based Agri-Tech start-up AgroStar has raised $27 million (Rs 190 crore) in its Series C funding round led by Bertelsmann India Investments. This funding would be going to one of the largest such funding for a start-up in the area of agriculture. Over the last two financing rounds, the company had raised a total of $14 million from the existing investors Accel Partners, Chirate Ventures and Aavishkaar Bharat Fund. These investors also participated in the current funding round.
Founded by brothers Shardul and Sitanshu Sheth in 2013, AgroStar operates the direct-to-farmer mobile-based retail platform. The services offered by AgroStar include: expert advice on farm production; ordering; and doorstep delivery of quality farm products like seeds, manure, and pesticides. The farmers can avail these services at any point of their crop life-cycle with a missed call or through its android app.
Shardul Sheth, CEO at AgroStar addressed to the media and said, “AgroStar plans to use the capital to expand its digital footprint across the country. It also intends to invest in its technology platform and its data science capability. Besides, it plans to strengthen its leadership team by adding seasoned farm processionals.” He also added, “Our agriculture input-focused commerce platform and technology-enabled agronomy solutions are addressing key challenges faced by the Indian farmer and making farming more profitable and sustainable for them.”
AgroStar is targeting to capitalise on a rapid increase in smartphone penetration along with increasing data consumption in rural India. As per Sheth, the cheaper internet options are bringing more farmers online seeking for real time information. The company, which has 150 channel partners, is operational in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan and it is also planning to add two or three more states where it can deliver more to farmers.
Sheth also added, “We have achieved more than a million downloads and wish to scale it up to 10 million beneficiaries within the next two to three years.”