Bengaluru-based agritech startup Gold Farm has raised a seed fund of $2 million from Mahindra Group and venture capital fund Infuse Ventures.
The supply chain-focused aggregation platform for farm equipment plans to use this latest funding to expand its service across village districts in Karnataka.
Founded by Abhilash Thirupathy, the startup will also deploy the funds in building infrastructure, as well as farmer outreach programmes to expand the availability of farm mechanisation equipment without owning them.
“The primary help we have taken from Mahindra is to increase the offering of special implements to farmers which would not otherwise be available locally, we are also trying to tap into their catalogue because we want to access new farming products and make that available to our existing base of customers,“ said Thirupathy, reported ET.
Owned and operated by AK Surya Power Magic Pvt Ltd, Gold Farm has created a fully integrated IoT-based HoneyBee solution, which is similar to Uber-like platform for farm equipments and tools. The solution helps in aggregating farm equipments and other functions like booking, scheduling, dispatching and monitoring of operations using mobile application.
HoneyBee platform is a small IoT based device connected to the vehicle’s engine. With the help of sensors, the device collects the data and transmits it over a GPS connection that will help to identify and locate the vehicle. It also uses geo-tagging and geo-fencing to track the exact location and the vehicle.
Gold Farm currently caters to around 25,000 farmers residing in village districts in Karnataka, such as Kolar and Gadag. It connects farmers with other farmers or individuals who lease out farm equipment such as tractors on an hourly basis. The startup takes a 10-15% cut from the transaction.
The company claims to have seen a 75% repeat rate from the existing customer base. Through the tractor provision, approximately 250 hours of ploughing gets completed on a daily basis.
Gold Farm offers a range of implements such as rotavators, disc harrows, rotary tillers and MB ploughs. The services are charged on an hourly basis, based on the tariff fixed by a local panel that includes a government representative, mainly the District Agriculture Department officials.
The company is presently collaborating with an Israeli drone startup to carry out a pilot programme during November in a district in Karnataka and West Bengal.
Besides Gold Farm, EM3 Agri Services is also building platforms that enable Farming as a Service or FaaS. The Delhi-NCR-based startup, which provides pay-per-use agricultural machines and farm services for small-hold farmers raised $10 million in its series B round led by Global Innovation Fund in August.
Gold Farm: Website