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Interesting funding alert- An agritech startup announced a funding of USD 20 million

Interesting funding alert- An agritech startup announced a funding of USD 20 million

We are seeing rapid growth in the agritech industry of the country. This sector is bringing a change, a disturbance in the traditional industry. We just hope that this sector is able to solve the many problems of our agriculture domain and give effective and rapid results. 

Let us talk about the agritech industry. Agriculture + technology= Agritech. Agrictech is defined as the process of using technology in the domains of agriculture, horticulture, and aquaculture. The technology is employed in these domains with the aim of improving yield, efficiency, and profitability. The agritech industry makes use of complex and sophisticated technology like robots, temperature and moisture sensors, aerial images, and GPS technology. These technologies ensure that the business is efficient, safer, and more environmentally friendly. Some other new technologies which bring more efficiency, safety to the business are GIS software, Merging datasets, Drones, Farming software, and online data. 

Agri-tech: The emerging field for an Indian entrepreneur to grab more  opportunities - Education Today News

Agritech is also called smart farming, as it is engaged in providing the agriculture industry with the infrastructure to use advanced technology like big data, cloud, IoT, for tracking, monitoring, and analyzing the operations. Coming to the agritech industry of India, this domain has seen an increase in revenue of around 85% during the Financial Year 2019-2020. According to Ernst and Young, the agritech industry of the country will reach USD 24 billion by the end of the year 2025, whereas according to Bain and Company, the agritech industry of the country will reach USD 35 billion by the end of the year 2025. 

Since the year 2015, the investments in the agritech industry have increased to a large extent and the total investments as of October 2020 were USD 242 million. The agritech industry of the country is showing positive results and even according to the reports by the big companies, it will be growing at very positive results. The future can only tell us how good this industry of our country will prove to be. 

Why invest in Agritech? The advantages of the future of agriculture | by  ARM23 technology blog | Medium

Let us now have a discussion on the funding of an agritech startup that has taken place recently.

Announcement of funding of an agritech startup 

The startup, Bijak, has raised funds worth USD 20 million, which are equivalent to INR 144.2 crore, as announced on January 20, 2022. This round of funding which has taken place was the Series B round of funding and was led by Bertelsmann. The other participants of this round of funding were Omidyar, RTP Global, Surge Ventures, and Better Capital. The startup has approved the allotment of 393 equity shares and 2350 series B preference shares, so that total of INR 144.2 crore or USD 20 million could be raised from the five investors. 

Bijak, an Agritech Startup is Helping India Fight Coronavirus by Supplying  Fruits, Vegetables & Foodgrains

Now coming to the individual investments made by these five investors, they are as follows-
Bertelsmann made an investment of INR 98.64 crore, Omidyar made an investment of INR 22.8 crore, RTP Global invested INR 15.2 crore, Surge Ventures made an investment of INR 5.7 crore, and Better Capital invested INR 1.9 crore. The value of the startup post this round of funding has come up to USD 163.3 million or INR 1225 crore. There were rumors that the startup was in talks to raise USD 35 million, at the valuation of the startup being USD 220-250 million. 

The startup before this round of funding had raised USD 12 million, more than 20 months ago. That round of funding was the Series A round of funding and the investors in that round of funding were Surge Ventures which is owned by Sequoia Capital India, Omidyar Network, and many others. The value of the startup after the Series A round of funding was USD 82 million.

About the agritech startup that has announced its funding 

The startup, Bijak, was launched in the year 2019 by Nukul Upadhye, Mahesh Jakhotia, Daya Rai, and Nikhil Tripathi, and has its headquarters in Gurugram, Haryana. The startup is a B2B platform designed for the agricultural sector. The platform of the startup is engaged in enabling traders, wholesalers, and food processors to keep a ledger of the transactions made by them and provide them access to transparent pricing, logistics, and loans. The startup believes in optimization through accountability. 

Bijak | Surge

The features provided by the startup are-
Network- Access the largest network of reliable and trustworthy buyers and suppliers.
Bookkeeping- Get all the transaction details and related documents on the mobile phones
Working Capital- Quick and real-time disbursal of loans to buyers, enabling immediate payments to suppliers.

Alerts and Reminders- Get instant alerts, pending amount notifications, and the facility to send payment reminders.
Payments- Make quick, safe, and real-time payments to the partners- anytime from anywhere. 
Ratings- Make informed trade decisions with accurate trade participant ratings that enhance accountability. 

The application of the startup is simple, multilingual which fulfills all the trading needs and is available on both Google Play and App Store. The startup is spread in 27 states and union territories like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Maharashtra,  covering more than 900 regions, and providing more than 110 commodities. 

Bijak | Agri Commodity Trading Platform

With the issuing of new shares, the shareholding pattern of the startup is as follows-
Upadhye has the largest stake with 23.58%
Jakotia holds 13.25% of the share of the company
Rai and Tripathi each have a 5.3% stake
Bedwal has a 2.64% stake in the company 

Among investors, Surge is the largest stakeholder of the startup, holding a 13.8% stake. Then Bertelsmann and Omidyar each have an 8.1% stake in the company. 

The startup last year had also started an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, which was worth INR 65 crore for its employees. 

The startup is definitely offering something different. It is bringing a change, making the lives of fellow farmers easy. We wish the startup nothing but a piece of good luck and hope it is able to bring a change and an advancement in the coming future ahead!

Edited and published by Ashlyn

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