Delhi-NCR-based EM3 AgriServices Pvt Ltd has raised $10 million in its series B round led by Global Innovation Fund, while existing investors Soros Development Fund and Aspada Investment also participated in it.
EM3 AgriServices, which provides pay-per-use agricultural machines and farm services for small-hold farmers, will use the latest proceeds towards enhancing the technological capabilities of its core transaction platform. Expansion of the company’s footprint beyond its existing services in Madhya Pradesh is also on radar.
Started in 2014, by former Airtel CEO Rohtash Mal and his son Adwitiya Mal, FaaS (Farming-as-a-Service)-based EM3 AgriServices offers farmers affordable access to agricultural farm equipment and services. Besides the rental of farm equipments such as tractors, its services include, soil analysis, seedbed preparation, sowing, fertilizer application, weed/pest control, top dressing, harvesting and post-harvest operations. EM3 has regional offices in Indore and Jaipur with about 160 people on the rolls, including call centre staff.
“We have recently partnered with the government of Rajasthan and will also invest in building technology and expanding, as well as improving our mechanisation farming services across India,“ said Adwitiya Mal, CEO at EM3 AgriServices.
According to the company, most of India’s small-hold farmers rely on manual labour as they cannot afford capital equipment such as farm implements, tractors and harvesters, which are among the most common needs of farmers. Thus, EM3 AgriServices, pay-for-use service models are the perfect solution to meet the challenge of increasing farm productivity without the farmers having to invest in machinery, where farmers pay a service fee calculated on a per-hour or per-acre basis.
The company has served about 35,000 farmers in Madhya Pradesh and claims to see a 90% repeat rate among its existing user base. It has tied up with several companies such as, Tractor major John Deere, which provides technical support to EM3’s tractor and harvester fleets. Trimble, a leading provider of advanced location-based navigation, provides satellite-based technologies to EM3.
While agri-business division of ITC allows EM3 to use ITC’s e-choupal platform to reach out to farming communities.
“Depending on the services, this could range from Rs 1,500 per acre to level out land; if the farmer is setting up rice nurseries, it can go up to Rs 3,500. The farmer makes a booking and we provide them with the service, these are cheaper than hiring manual labour,“ said Rohtash Mal, co-founder at EM3 AgriServices.
EM3 AgriServices: website