Let us talk about the agritech industry and the funding in it. Agritech is basically when we bring in technology in the agricultural sector. It is defined as the process of using technology in agriculture, horticulture, and aquaculture with the aim of increasing and improving yield, profitability, and efficiency. This sector is engaged in planning and laying out all sizes of crop, animal, and fish farms. It employs modern techniques in land preparation, planting, management, and harvesting of food and cash crops. Thus, agritech in short helps in assisting the extension and the expansion of services and making sure that the work is done quickly and at as much less cost as possible.
Agritech industry in India
The agritech industry in India is still at a baby stage, but a huge potential is seen and expected of the industry. With the increased usage of the internet in rural areas and the entry of digitalization in the villages of the country, agriculture in India is undergoing rapid change. The agriculture industry of the country has the potential to become the “food bowl of the world” if the emphasis is laid on the following points-
a) agricultural produce trade need to be more efficient
b) making sure that the quality standards are at par with the trade policies
c) making sure to optimize the cost of the products
Agriculture in India is a source of around 58% of the population of the country. Agriculture in our country is very traditional, but now with technology aka agritech entering this sector, three Is are being focused on- Innovation, Infrastructure, and Investment. The agritech industry in the country is expected to grow to USD 30-USD 35 billion markets by the year 2025, and the key segments for the industry will then be e-sales of produce, inputs, and digitally-enabled key segments.
Funding of agritech startup, SuperZop
The agritech startup, SuperZop, has raised a funding of USD 4 million, as announced on September 28, 2021. The round of funding was the Series A round of funding and was led by an Indian-focused fund of Incofin Investment Management (IM), Infocin’s India Progress. The other participants of this round of funding were the existing investors- SIDBI Venture Capital ltd, CIIE.CO, and Angels.
The startup plans to use the funds raised in scaling up and expanding in existing and new geographies like Tier-1 cities. It will also use the portion of the funds raised to strengthen its technology and expand its product offerings. It has been revealed that a portion of the funds will also be utilized in the field of data science and expanding and enhancing the system for a greater scale.
About the newly funded agritech startup
The startup, SuperZop, was founded by Prithwi Singh, Darshan Krishnamurthy, and Raghuveer Allada. It is a B2B agritech startup that helps in connecting farms to the shops through innovative technology. The startup makes sure that the farmers have the right medium to sell and the retailer’s competitiveness increases by helping the farmers buy smarter and better.
The startup is engaged in building a model which will be the single largest staple [rocurrement platform for B2B customers like small retailers, restaurants, by procuring directly from farmers and mills. The steps here are as follows-
Step1- Place Orders- Retailers, based on their needs, place orders for the commodities using the mobile application of SuperZop.
Step2- Manage Demand and Supply- The startup delivers the goods to the retailers within 48 hours using its state-of-the-art warehouse.
Step3- procurement- The commodities are directly procured from the farmers and the quality is assessed using artificial intelligence.
The benefits for the retailer for using the application of the startup are-
a) Easy and Convenient– It provides a single platform for all the staples and farm products in the Local Language with simple user interface delivery within 48 hours
b) Superior Experience– The application has 24*7 customer support for digital and cashless payments. Even there are personalized recommendations of the products.
c) Higher Profitability– There are no middlemen involved, hence the price is low, and there is access to cheaper credit financing. The working capital is less, as the orders made are of less quantity and frequent in nature.
d) Assured Quality– It has in-house AI and ML technology which helps in grading, real-time product analysis, and quality visualization.
The startup was founded in Ahmedabad, but later the base was shifted to Navi Mumbai. Currently, the startup is claiming to help more than 20,000 retailers in Pune and Mumbai. The network of the startup has more than 13,000 retailers, has processed more than 50,000 orders. The retailers while using the application of the startup have saved 1.5 lakh hours, and customers have saved money more than INR 2 crore.
The technology used by the startup can be used for the following functions-
a) Efficient vehicle route planner, where finding efficient paths for transporting sales orders through Vehicle Routing Algorithms
b) Grain Quality Analysis, where analysis and identification of grains is done using AI and ML
c) Customer Experience, the application has proprietary algorithms so that easy ordering can be done and the customers can have the experience of the superior application.
d) Financial Services, are given by the application, thus enabling the customers to have access to multiple modes of payment
The startup is building the future Staple Brand of India, SuperChoice. This will meet the demand and need for good quality packed products.
The features of SuperChoice will be-
a) Superior Quality
b) Rigorous quality control processes
c) Hygienic Packing
d) Healthy and Nutritious
e) Direct from Source Location
f) Best Price
What has been said about the deal?
Prithwi Singh, who is the co-founder of the startup, SuperZop, made a statement saying that the startup uses a vertically drive product approach to help in building farm tech brands with greater sourcing linkage using technology and process innovation. He further said that the farm tech staples of the staples have been well recognized in the space of the branded staples, even in the larger categories like rice, pulses, and dry fruits.
Rahul Rai, who is the partner at Incofin India, commented that he and his organization are happy on being in partnership with SuperZop, the founders of which are high performing, who are making a very strong impact by bringing MSME food processors and Kirana stores more closely integrated.
The startup is here working the traditional agriculture industry of the country to convert it into a modern and technology-friendly one. We wish the startup good luck and a bright and successful future.
Edited by Sanjana Simlai.