‘AgroStar’ — a startup founded by two brothers Sitanshu Sheth and Shardul Sheth might just become one of the success stories of the year. The Pune-based startup has recently managed to receive $10 million series B funding led by Accel India. AgroStar is a digital platform that offers agronomy solutions to farmers in India. It is a unique mobile based application that caters to the requirements of the Indian agricultural sector. A farmer can place orders for agricultural appliances such as fertilisers, pesticides and other farming materials using the app or by simply giving a missed call, which is then followed up by company’s customer service executives.
Agronomy-specific E-retailing business is still at a nascent stage in India, thus, entrepreneurs and investors are focused on ramping up investments in the niche market. India has a massive agrarian society that is faced with various challenges ranging from limited access to products, substandard product quality and lack of technical knowledge, which often result in low yields. This, in turn, is translating a robust demand for cost-efficient agronomy services.
Founded three years ago, AgroStar is an industry leader in offering extended retailing and consulting services. The tech startup provides dedicated real-time solutions by collaborating with over 150 companies and agri-input providers such as Monsanto and DuPont. Having more than 200 employees, the company currently runs its operations in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. With this massive $10 million boost the company will now have more confidence in expanding its operations across India and to look further beyond. As per online sources, the startup is already planning to start its services in four major agriculture focused states including Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka and Haryana. Apart from expansion, the fund will also help it leverage technological advancements, enhance in-house analytics system, data science and brand marketing. It is for the second time that the company is receiving such huge financial boost. In 2015, the mobile-commerce firm successfully managed to raise around $4 million in a round led by IDG Ventures. Though this time around, the amount was more than double of the previous sanction and had contributions from three major investors including Accel India, Aavishkaar and IDG Ventures. The deal also marks one of the largest agrotech venture capital funding round in the country.
Accel’s participation in this round is very much a sign that AgroStar’s performance in agrotech space has been impressive. It is accel’s first big investment in agrotech space, however, the American capital venture is known for making massive investments in other verticals of the tech space. The California-based company has previously made capital investments in several technology companies including Dropbox, Supercell, Vox Media, Facebook, Atlassian, Slack, Braintree/Venmo, Lynda.com, Spotify, Qualtrics, Etsy, DJI, GoFundMe, Cloudera, and Jet.comand. In India, it made headlines when it announced to back an e-commerce website ‘FlipKart’ at the very initial stages, of course, the startup went on to become a hit in the following years. Accel has been making healthy investments in a number of startups in the country owing to the recent success it achieved through its funding activities.
AgroStar raises $10mn series B funding! Deeply humbled by the trust of farmers, investors, employees, partners & well-wishers.@AccelIndiaVC
— AgroStar (@agrostar_in) March 7, 2017