Top 10 Best Indian Agritech Startups In 2022
Agricultural technology, often known as agrotechnology, applies technology to agriculture, horticulture, and aquaculture to increase output, efficiency, and profitability. Agricultural technology refers to farm products, services, or applications that improve various input/output processes.
Agricultural technology has evolved due to advances in agricultural science, agronomy, and agricultural engineering.
What role do agritech startups play in the agricultural economy?
The growing adoption of deep-tech solutions across India is driving the country’s agricultural revolution, or agriculture 4.0. Visionary entrepreneurs, investors, businesses, governments, and, most importantly, farmers have all taken notice of the developing agritech space.
According to the latest Bain & Company research, the agritech sector got $1 billion in funding from 2017 to 2020. The latest Bain & Company research is expected to develop to a $30–$35 billion market by 2025. The agritech sector is poised to alter India’s agricultural economy as technology penetration, and innovation opportunities grow in the agricultural ecosystem.
Subrat Panda, Chief Technology Officer at AgNext, discusses agritech and how AI and Data Science are being used by agritech businesses to strengthen the agricultural economy.
India is a significant agrarian economy, with agriculture employing more than half of the population. However, this industry only accounts for about 20% of the country’s GDP. This implies a significant efficiency gap, highlighting multiple productivity losses in agri-value chains over time due to persistent structural and operational challenges.
As a result, profitability losses occur, as seen by the lack of change in farm incomes and agriculture’s falling contribution to the national workforce over time. By decreasing human errors and providing a deeply integrated digital framework for operational management, technology can assist offset these productivity and profitability losses in food value chains and reducing agrarian stress.
A dynamic transformation in agricultural operations from legacy structures to technology-driven solutions is urgently needed. Agritech businesses are disrupting the traditional agricultural model by integrating cutting-edge technologies such as data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), the Internet of Things (IoT), and software as a service (SaaS). This is assisting in the alleviation of various pain points across the traditional agriculture value chain spectrum, potentially unlocking a market worth more than $24 billion.
The agricultural sector is a gold mine of various data, yet most of it is unstructured or unavailable. This data can be processed to yield important insights to improve agriculture processes using AI-based technology combined with sophisticated data analytics.
AI-based solutions are being developed and implemented by agritech companies to address legacy issues, deploy logistical solutions, create market linkages, digitise food quality assessment, remove existing operational complexities, increase access to agri-services, improve trade profit margins, and increase trust and transparency in food value chains.
Similarly, AI-based solutions are used in the pre-harvest arena for real-time crop management, pest management, soil and weather monitoring, and fast notifications for efficient harvest management. Flexible AI models are being utilised to structure data. They portray a more holistic image of Indian agriculture, with the rise of small landholding farms and tremendous variation in Indian geographies, commodities, and food value chains.
“Traceability, real-time operational visibility, quality assessment standardisation, broad market access, and the lack of crucial business insights for improvement are all issues that agribusinesses face today. Using integrated AI technology in conjunction with comprehensive data analytics, the problems may be overcome and losses minimised across the food value chain. The pressure on agriculture (and environmental) systems to deliver will increase as the world’s population grows and food demand rises. Frontier technologies have the potential to not only improve current processes but also to lay the groundwork for India’s agricultural future, “Subrat Panda concludes.
Why Are AgriTech Startups Necessary?
Today’s farmer has numerous hurdles to make a living from farming. Malpractices in unorganised agricultural markets and the lack of organised production marketing channels are becoming a major source of concern for Indian farmers. They also have to contend with insufficient transportation and storage services, among other issues. They have limited access to advanced technologies to obtain timely information and agricultural solutions, leaving them vulnerable and alone.
AgriTech firms can address these issues from the outset, changing the face of Indian agriculture in the process. Indian farmers are knights in shining armour.
Encouragement For AgriTech Startups By The Indian Government
The Indian government is encouraging agritech startups. The Modi government has been active in developing programmes to better the lives of India’s farmers. The government has guaranteed that by the end of 2022, farmers’ incomes will have doubled.
Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister, has stated that the government will assist new businesses in adding value to farmers’ field output.
To provide real-time advice to farmers, the NITI Aayog cooperates with corporations like IBM to pilot technology-driven solutions for the agriculture industry. As a result, crop yield protection models are being developed using artificial intelligence.
Growth of AgriTech Startups
The agri-tech business is a fast-growing industry with a lot of promise to help Indian agriculture and, as a result, farmers’ incomes. NASSCOM estimates that India has 450 Agri-tech startups and that this number is growing at a rate of 25% per year.
India has seen a surge in Agri-tech startups in the last several years. The Agri-Tech sector in India has grown significantly from 43 startups in 2013 to over 1000 businesses in 2020, owing to increased rural internet penetration, increased post-harvest and supply chain losses, expanding investor interest in the sector, and other factors. They can now handle agricultural issues like the usage of obsolete equipment, supply chain management, a lack of suitable infrastructure, and farmers who cannot easily access a larger range of markets.
According to the most recent statistics, the agriculture sector received approximately $3.23 billion in global investment. 53 Indian AgriTech businesses raised a total of $313 million. This is a big step forward for Indian companies, and these data will encourage our country’s young entrepreneurs to pursue agricultural technology.
The Indian States Focused on Agritech Startups
Even though all states recognise the necessity of Agritech companies for agriculture to thrive, some have built startup ecosystem hubs. Karnataka and Maharashtra combined account for over half of all Agritech startups in the country over the last five years.
Although Gujarat has a small number of Agritech firms, it is the best-performing state in the Indian Agritech startup ecosystem hub, according to the State Startup Ranking Report 2018 published by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP).
The Top 10 Agritech Startups in India that Help Farmers are listed below.
Ninjacart began as a B2C hyperlocal food delivery service in June 2015, founded by Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Kartheeswaran K K, Ashutosh Vikram, Sharath Loganathan, and Vasudevan Chinnathambi. It was developed into a B2B agritech startup to solve new agricultural produce supply chain problems for farmers and retailers. Ninjacart has received $164.2 million in funding from Tiger Global Management, Accel, Qualcomm Ventures, and Steadview Capital.
Ninjacart, a business-to-business marketplace for agricultural commodities, announced that it had launched a staff equity ownership plan worth Rs 100 crore (about $13.4 million) (Esop). Employees who have vested ESOPs as of December 2021 can sell all of their vested ESOPs.
Retailers and foodservice businesses can use the Ninjacart app to order quality graded veggies and fruits for their establishments.
Ninjacart has a lot to offer:
- Large Selection of Vegetables and Fruits
- Competitive Prices
- Large Selection of Vegetables and Fruits
- Hassle-Free Payments
- Easy Supply Management
- Daily Stock Replenishment
Ninjacart offer a wide variety of vegetables and fruits hygienically handled in crates sourced from farms across the country.
Ninjacart provide the finest pricing on the market, allowing you to increase your profit margins. On the app, you can also get periodic bargains and discounts.
In July 2015, Karthik Jayaraman and Sanjay Dasari established WayCool, a B2B agritech platform. It employs technology to manage the entire agriculture supply chain, from farming inputs to last-mile delivery, allowing farmers to sell their products through a variety of channels. To date, it has raised $60.8 million.
Fresh produce, dairy products, and basics are processed, distributed, and procured by Waycool, an agri-tech firm. WayCool is on the cutting edge of technology in India, from new quality control and food safety technology to help farmers raise their revenue. It improves logistics and distribution services by leveraging technology and innovation. Waycool supplies local shops and modern retail outlets with farm-fresh fruits, vegetables, and other produce.
They have a retail presence in Chennai, where they operate retail locations, mobile stores on trucks, and e-commerce under the SunnyBee brand. SunnyBee also develops and brands a number of high-quality private label items through collaborations with related firms.
WayCool uses a combination of physical and information technology to create direct connections between farmers and consumers. Their goal is to become the world’s largest food development and distribution firm while improving the lives of Indian farmers. Karthick Jayraman and Sanjay Dasari founded WayCool, based in Chennai, India.
AgroStar is an online marketplace for farmers to buy agricultural inputs launched in 2013 by brothers Shardul and Sitanshu Sheth. Farmers can also use this agritech startup’s real-time expert advice on crop management and productivity. AgroStar has received $42 million in funding.
AgroStar is India’s leading AgTech startup, with the objective of #HelpingFarmersWin by putting a comprehensive variety of agricultural solutions at farmers’ fingertips. AgroStar’s top agriculture application combines agronomy guidance from Agri doctors/experts with agriculture information and Agri items to help farmers increase their production and income dramatically.
AgroStar presently has over 5 lakh farmers on its Kisan agriculture Helpline app across Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh. Farmers may get Agri solutions for the whole crop life cycle by dialling a simple “missed call” or downloading the company’s Android app, which is one of India’s most popular farming apps.
AgroStar’s technology platform combines agronomy guidance with service and Agri input items to help farmers increase their productivity and profitability dramatically.
They combine a large quantity of data, technology, and agronomy experience to provide Indian farmers with the best solutions (advice+products).AgroStar currently has over 5 lakh farmers on its digital platform in Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan.
Over the next five years, they intend to continue to add value to farmers by delivering a wide choice of inputs to their doorsteps, providing world-class agronomy expertise, and providing access to market linkages and loans.
DeHaat was founded in 2012 by Shashank Kumar and Amrendra Singh to provide agricultural services such as economic agrarian inputs such as seeds and fertilisers, individualised guidance, soil testing, weather updates, microfinance, and insurance. DeHaat has raised $19.3 million to help Indian farmers.
The company, which runs a hotline for farmers, also has an Android app with the same name available in other languages. In Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Odisha, DeHaat promises to help over 650,000 farmers. There are around 850 different agribusinesses on its website.
DeHaat is one of India’s fastest-growing Agri Tech firms and one of the few companies that offers end-to-end farming solutions and services. They are developing AI-enabled technology to change the farm sector’s supply chain and production efficiency. DeHaat already have 650,000 farmers in their service network in Bihar, UP, Odisha, and West Bengal, and its goal is to reach 5 million farmers by 2024.
It is now a fully funded startup with a growth rate of 3-4x annually, founded by alumni from IIT Delhi, IIT Kharagpur, IIM Ahmedabad, and other premier institutes. NASSCOM, Forbes, ET, Niti Aayog, and the Bill Gates Foundation are some others, have recognised and praised the impact DeHaat have made at the grassroots level throughout the last eight years of its activities.
Stellapps, founded in 2011 by Ranjith Mukundan, Ravishankar G. Shiroor, Praveen Nale, Ramakrishna Adukuri, and Venkatesh Seshasayee, helps dairy farmers and cooperatives maximise earnings by digitising and streamlining Milk Procurement & Coldchain Management via their IoT-based SmartMoo platform.
Stellapps creates dairy management software programmes that use technology to improve the characteristics of the dairy supply chain. The company’s apps make use of IoT, big data, cloud, mobility, and data analytics to improve agri-supply chain parameters like milk production, milk procurement, cold chain animal insurance, and farmer payments, allowing dairy farms, dairy farmers, and cooperatives to maximise profits while minimising effort.
Stellapps is the first firm in India to digitise the dairy supply chain. They are a Bangalore-based Internet of Things (IoT) firm founded in 2011 and incubated by IIT Madras. Stellapps core focus is data collecting and machine learning. The most important crop on the earth is milk. There is a pressing need for technological solutions, particularly in emerging markets where production per animal is low, traceability is lacking, and quality is poor. Digitisation of the Agri-Dairy supply chain in the emerging markets is where we help unlock unprecedented value on a vast scale.
Bijak, founded by Nikhil Tripathi, Daya Rai, Jitender Bedwal, Mahesh Jakhotia, and Nukul Upadhye in 2019, allows dealers and wholesalers to develop their businesses by enabling them to find new suppliers, keep ledgers, make payments, and receive working capital through its app. Bijak has amassed a total of $14.3 million in funding.
Bijak is a B2B marketplace for agricultural commodities that provides buyers and sellers with better prices, more working capital, and more efficient logistics. Bijak is an Indian agricultural business-to-business trade platform that allows traders, wholesalers, and food processors to keep track of their transactions, obtain transparent pricing, enhance logistics, and shorten working capital cycles.
Bijak, an agritech firm, raised Rs 144.2 crore ($20 million) in a Series B round from new and existing investors. The firm from Gurguram has received further funding after a break of more than 20 months.
According to its website, it operates in more than 27 states, including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, and Bihar, and trades in over 110 commodities.
7. CropIn Technology
CropIn, founded in 2010 by Krishna Kumar and Kunal Prasad, is a one-stop SaaS-based solutions platform that helps agribusinesses boost efficiency, productivity, and sustainability. Its platform provides real-time weather data, the capacity to control farm activities, and crop output predictions to reduce risk and increase yield.
CropIn is a prominent AI and data-driven agritech company that offers SaaS solutions to agribusinesses worldwide. CropIn’s unique solution suite enables diverse agro-ecosystem stakeholders to embrace and drive digital strategy across their operations.
CropIn connects all of these stakeholders at different levels of the agriculture ecosystem, allowing clients to use cutting-edge technology like big data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and remote sensing to analyse and interpret data in real-time to derive actionable insights on standing crops. As a result, businesses can use technology to drive digitisation, predictability, compliance, sustainability, and traceability.
CropIn offers value to agri-businesses by enhancing efficiency, scaling production, and strengthening sustainability across the board, to “maximise per acre value” and the mission to “make every farm traceable.” CropIn has digitised over 5.5 million acres of agriculture and transformed the lives of almost 2.1 million farmers while collecting data on over 380 crops and 3,600 crop varieties in 46 countries across six continents.
8. EM3 AgriServices
EM3 AgriServices was founded in 2013 by Rohtash Mal and his son Adwitya Mal to allow small farmers who can’t afford to buy expensive agricultural technology to rent speciality devices to increase production at a lower cost.
It accomplishes it using Samadhan, a farming-as-a-service platform that includes an app, actual call centres, and human representatives that connect with the company’s mostly offline customer base.
Each centre can handle a comprehensive suite of primary and precision farm operations throughout the crop production cycle, including land preparation, sowing/transplanting, crop management, harvesting, and post-harvest farm management. Farmers may quickly contact EM3 to schedule services, monitor work on their crops, and handle all transactions using Samadhan. EM3 is expanding into more Indian provinces and has formed partnerships with local governments and top Indian and international equipment manufacturers.
9. Intello Labs
Intello Labs was founded in 2016 by Milan Sharma, Nishant Mishra, Himani Shah, and Devendra Chandani. Its digital products include Intello Track, Intello Sort, Intello Pack, and Intello Deep, which use computer vision and deep learning to assist farmers, retailers, and exporters in determining the quality of their fruits and vegetables.
Intello Labs has developed digital solutions that use artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities such as computer vision and deep learning to monitor and grade the quality of fruits and vegetables. Across the F&V (fruits and vegetables) value chain, the company wants to be the de-facto quality platform for trade, procurement, grading, pricing, traceability, and marketing.
In May 2020, the company received $5.9 million in Series A funding from Saama Capital, around INR 45 crore. Reliance Fresh, Dole, and Ocean Spray are Intello Labs’ clients.
Aibono, founded by Vivek Rajkumar in 2014, is credited for pioneering the seed-to-plate concept. It assists farmers in increasing crop productivity while also selling the product to shops. The company collects farm data using soil sensors, IoT devices, and imaging drones then transmits it to their cloud platform, which employs predictive analytics to assist farmers in making better agricultural decisions. Aibono has received $3.5 million in funding.
With its disruptive Seed-to-PlateTM platform, AIBONO, India’s first AI-powered aggregator of fresh produce, is moving the $250 billion fruits and vegetable chain towards transformation. By providing precise insights derived from AI and shared farm intelligence on what to produce and how to produce it, this empowers communities of farmers to achieve two times the yield, two times the income, and less than half the wastage as before, while also enabling retailers and consumers to source super fresh farm produce all year from a traceable aggregated basis.
Edited and published by Ashlyn Joy