India’s Arya raises $60 million to provide farmers with finance and post-harvest services – TechCrunch

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Arya, an Indian agricultural technology startup that reaches hundreds of thousands of farmers in the South Asian market and helps store and sell produce and secure credit, enters a new stage of growth with 60 million new funding rounds. Raised dollars.

Asia Impact SA, Lightrock India and Quona Capital co-led a $ 42 million Series C funding round. US International Development France Corporation has provided an additional $ 18 million in debt. In the new round, an eight-year-old Noida-based startup is valued at $ 300 million, a person familiar with the matter said.

Alya Trying Solving three issues It has plagued Indian farmers for decades. Only about one-third of the yields they produce reach large markets where most of the sales are generated, creating uneven concentration and millions of farmers efficiently store their products. And continue to prevent it from being sold.

The majority of farmers have a hard time finding buyers for their harvest and they usually experience a cash crisis until they sell their produce.

Co-founded by Prasanna Rao, Arya has been working on this through a network of nearly 10,000 warehouses, from about 1,500 a year ago, sowing seeds in 21 Indian states. Startups have made these warehouses available to farmers near the farm, allowing them to store their produce for the first time.

The warehouse is designed to store grain from farmers for about 3 months and is covered by insurance. In an interview with TechCrunch, Rao said farmers could monitor in real time while produce left in a nearby warehouse, establishing a level of transparency and trust that is important to court farmers. ..

In the warehouse, Arya helps farmers connect with buyers and offers the option to negotiate prices. “We store our products in warehouses, so we have a complete picture of quantity and quality. This is the way to establish a connection between buyers and sellers,” he says, and startups are on the platform. He added that he could visualize grains worth more than $ 2 billion.

He said the startup has devised a high level of ability to launch a new warehouse in the required area within two days. Arya does not own these warehouses and is instead remodeling warehouses owned by other companies. There are more than 100,000 such warehouses nationwide, most of which are underutilized.

Arya works with the farmers’ union to contact the farmers. Farmers can use the platform and eliminate confusion using Arya’s smartphone app or using traditional methods such as guidance provided directly.

But no work is done there.

As we saw in the case of Tens of millions of neighborhood stores in IndiaFarmers also rely heavily on the profits they earn from selling their current batches of produce before they start planting in the new season.

Arya works with banks and non-bank financial institutions to help these farmers secure loans and allow them to return to work while their produce is on sale. He said the $ 18 million in debt raised in the new round is aimed at providing credit to farmers who don’t think financial institutions deserve credit, and over the past year, startups have kept three books on funding. times.

In a statement, Quona Capital partner Valun Malhotra said, “Arya has unparalleled reach in rural India and, coupled with a technology-driven integrated services model, is India’s fastest-growing Agricomers. It has become one of the platforms. ” “”Arya has succeeded in bridging the trust gap in post-harvest agricultural transactions through full transparency and assurance regarding quality, quantity and payment. I am excited to deepen my partnership with Arya. “

Many start-ups and tech giants in a once-overlooked sector are looking for ways to take advantage of one of the world’s largest annual grain yields.MeAccording to consultancy EY, ndia’s agritech industry has the potential to reach approximately $ 24 billion in revenue by 2025.

Amazon recently began providing farmers with real-time advice and information to help them communicate their crop decisions. Microsoft is working with 100 villages to deploy AI and build a platform.

Lao said it was encouraging to see more players in the industry paying attention to this sector. He said Arya alone wants to have a network of over 60,000 warehouses over the next four years and is considering buying a small start-up to drive faster growth. rice field.

“Through the pandemic, we have seen Arya transform agricultural commerce across India,” said Matteo Pusineri, director of Asia Impact SA, in a statement.

“Arya helps achieve Asia Impact’s vision of integrating poorly serviced agricultural communities across rural areas into large markets. Arya is the leadership of Prasanna Rao, Anand Chandra and Chattanathan Devarajan. Below, we are confident that we will make a significant contribution to our unique ecosystem that supports the sustainable growth story of rural India. “

India’s Arya raises $60 million to provide farmers with finance and post-harvest services – TechCrunch Source link India’s Arya raises $60 million to provide farmers with finance and post-harvest services – TechCrunch

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