Pune-based agritech startup Ecozen, which develops technology-enabled products to strengthen the farm-to-fork value chain of perishables, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding in Series A round from Caspian and the Hivos-Triodos Fund.
Omnivore, which originally invested in Ecozen in 2015, also participated in this round. In March 2019, it announced a final close of $97 million for its second fund. The Mumbai-based investment firm completed its first close of $46 million in January last year.
Commenting on the Series A round, Devendra Gupta, Co-Founder & CEO of Ecozen, said,
“We plan to use this funding to launch new cold chain products, enter new geographies for irrigation sales, and accelerate the growth of our market linkage platform for pre-cooled perishables. We plan to be back in the market soon, to raise our next round, as both our irrigation and cold chain businesses are scaling rapidly.”
Founded in 2010 by three IIT Kharagpur alumni, Devendra Gupta, Prateek Singhal and Vivek Pandey, Ecozen’s irrigation and cold chain products (Ecotron and Ecofrost) help farmers who grow perishables to increase their yields, store their produce longer and realize higher prices.
Through its “Lease-a-Cold-Room” model, Ecozen is looking at providing cold chain access to farmers across India growing perishable commodities.
Ecozen has also launched a market linkage platform for Ecofrost customers, connecting them digitally to potential buyers, including exporters, retailers, and processors.
Approximately 20,000 farmers in India use Ecozen products and the company delivered sales revenue of Rs 68 crore in FY 2018-19.
Commenting on investment, Ravi Narasimham, Investment Director – Caspian, said,
“We see that the company’s strategy has a perfect blend of promoting sustainable agriculture and storage by using solar energy based water pumping systems and cold chain facilities.”
“As a company that enables better livelihood for farmers using technology and innovation, one that offers renewable-based energy products that cater to agri-focused markets, Ecozen is a natural partner for us. We look forward to help drive their mission and vision forward, and together create a positive impact down the value chain,” said Karel Nierop, Fund Manager of Hivos-Triodos Fund.
The other agritech startups who recently raised funding are FreshVnF, which received $2 million led by Equanimity Ventures, and VilFresh secured Rs 1.15 crore in angel funding led by Native Angels, a Tier II and III region-focused angel investors network.
In May, Agritech startup DeHaat, which connects farmers with agri input suppliers and buyers for their produce, also acquired VezaMart, a platform that builds farm management solutions for farmers.