The agri – tech startup FarMart is a renting platform where farmers can rent farm equipment. The startup was founded in December 2015 by Alekh Sanghera, Mehtab Singh Hans and Lokesh Singh. According to a statement issued by the company, the Gurgaon – based startup has got an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Indian Angel Networks (IAN). FarMart helps poor farmers rent their under – utilized farm equipment as and when they need it. The farmers pay for the rented equipment on a per – hour basis. They can rent farm equipment from FarMart via their mobile app or by contacting FarMart’s call center. Read more on Funding
“There are around 120 million agricultural households in India, and many of them still without access to finance, machinery and modern technology. The funding by IAN will help us grow at faster pace and develop a stronger product”, Alekh Sanghera said in the statement.
FarMart claims to have rented out more than 350 farm equipments to farmers in UP. The startup is currently operational in Saharanpur district in Uttar Pradesh and plans to expand to more than 20 districts in Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh. Prior to founding FarMart, Alekh Sanghera and Lokesh Singh had worked with the financial inclusion consulting company MicroSave, while Mehtab Singh Hans was a risk analyst at Goldman Sachs.
Apart from FarMart, numerous other agri – tech startups have been funded in the past few months. Last month (February, 2017), the Delhi – based VDSS Agri Tech Pvt. Ltd. raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from a group of angel investors. In January 2017, the Mumbai – based RML Agri Tech Pvt. Ltd, which provides support services to farmers via mobile phones, raised Rs. 27.2 crores in series A funding from its existing investor, IvyCap Ventures. Renting out farm equipments when need be seems to be a far more sensible option to poor farmers rather than buying equipments and wasting their money. This model of renting out farm equipments, when need be, will make farm equipments far more useful to many farmers rather than just one in the case that it was bought. It is heartening to see a useful startup like FarMart get funded. The Government of India must take steps to ensure a business – friendly environment in India and must fund and promote more of useful startups like FarMart. Read more on Startup News