The agritech startup FarmLink has secured an investment of US $3 million from the investment firm-cum-incubator, Pioneering Ventures and agrochemical company, Syngenta, according to sources from the startup, who announced this news yesterday (08/11/2017). The investment of US $3 million constituted Series A round of funding for the startup. This round of funding comes three years after the startup was incubated by Pioneering Ventures. The startup will use the funds to create an all India network of collection and service centres, boost its technological and analytical capabilities and improve the supply chain from farm to shelf. The startup is aiming for a 400 to 500% growth in revenues by 2019. Read more on Investments
FarmLink was founded in 2014. It purchases fresh fruits and vegetables from farmers and supplies it to the retailers it has tie-ups with. Star Bazaar and Vista Processed Foods are currently the startup’s clients. The startup also plans to supply its produce to supermarket chains, quick-service restaurant chains, e-commerce food platforms and industrial processors. The good news is that FarmLink promises a secure source of income to farmers by means of long-term purchase agreements with them. In addition to supporting farmers to improve the quality and yield of their crops, the startup is striving to provide farmers with knowledge on how to employ scientific methods in their farming practices and how to operate bank accounts (how to open a bank account and operate the same).
So far the startup has distribution and collection centres in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana and supplies vegetables and fruits from 700 farmers across these states. The startup plans to increase its presence throughout India (with the help of this investment from Pioneering Ventures and Syngenta) and supply produce from 3000 farmers across the country by 2019.
Speaking about FarmLink’s plans for the immediate future, COO, Sreeram Chellappa said, “There will be smaller satellite collection centres which will support the existing four mother distribution centres and they would be allied to the existing centres in south India”.
FarmLink is currently developing a B2B analytical tool called FarmTrace which will help its clients, trace the location of produce (which is due to be delivered to them) from farm to shelf.
Elaborating further, Akshaya Kammath, Director of Pioneering Ventures India, said, “The idea is to get a full passcode of the product and track the entire process and transformation that the product has gone through from farm-to-fork. We expect to go live with FarmTrace by the end of March 2018”.
FarmLink is the need of the hour for Indian farmers and consumers because Indian farmers need a stable source of income (which FarmLink promises) more than anything else to prevent them from committing suicides, due natural catastrophes and Indian consumers also need to get access to hygienically and scientifically produced fruits and vegetables as most of the so-called “fresh” fruits and vegetables in the markets these days contain high levels of pesticides which can lead to food poisoning and other disorders if not cleaned properly. FarmTrace will also enable supermarkets to track their produce with ease and ensure availability of fresh fruits and vegetables on their shelf. More agritech startups should take cue from FarmLink and better the lives of Indian farmers and consumers. The government of India should also fund, incubate and promote such innovative and useful startups. Read more on Startup News