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Exclusive: Agritech startup Intello Labs scores new round led by Avaana

Artificial intelligence-focused agricultural technology startup Intello Labs has raised Rs 37.3 crore or $5 million in a round led by Avaana Capital which takes the company’s valuation to around Rs 246 crore or close to $34 million, as per Fintrackr’s estimates.

The round also saw participation from existing backers Saama Capital along with Nexus Ventures and Omnivore Partners. 

Avaana Capital chipped in with Rs 18.62 crore while Omnivore Partners, Saama Capital and Nexus Ventures invested Rs 6.2 crore each in the round. The company has also allotted 7,706 Series A3 preference shares and 15 equity shares at Rs 47,247 per share, regulatory filings show. 

As per Fintrackr’s calculations, the co-founders’ stake in the company stands at 18.44% after the fresh financing round. 

Omnivore Partners is the biggest shareholder in Intello Labs with a 19.15% stake followed by Nexus Ventures which owns 18.13%. Saama Capital and Avaana command 15.21% and 7.58% stake respectively. Co-founders Milan Sharma and Nishant Mishra each own a 8.4% stake while the third co-founder, Himani Shah retains only  1.37% stake after this round.

According to its regulatory filings, the company has also passed a special resolution in its memorandum of association which says that it will carry on the business of trade, assembly, re-assembly, packing, purchase, leasing, renting of all kinds of hardware, machines used for packing and sorting of various commodities through the use of AI, in India and abroad. 

In May last year, the company had raised $5.9 million in its Series A funding round led by Saama Capital.

Business model and competitors 

Started in 2016, Intello Labs deploys image recognition based tools for the quality assessment of fruits and vegetables. It also makes an automated weighing and packing machine for fresh produce. 

It is very similar to the offerings by agritech startup AgNext which provides AI-based solutions for enabling trade at every intersection of buying and selling happening in agricultural and food value chains. AgNext has built proprietary hardware, algorithms and software to analyse commodity quality in multiple domains like spices, tea, grains, oilseeds, milk, feed amongst others.

A quick spotlight on agritech startups

Last month, TartanSense, an AI-powered robotics solutions provider empowering small farm holders, raised $5 million in its Series A round. AgNext also raised a little over $21 million led by Falcon Edge’s Alpha Wave Incubation. Entrackr had exclusively reported on the round. It was also selected by Google for its fifth batch of the startup accelerator programme in India. 

Around 30 startups in the agritech space had raised fundings in 2020 and the trend continues in the ongoing calendar year as well in which DeHaat, Vegrow, Waycool and Ninjacart have already kicked off their new rounds. 

As per a recent media report, DeHaat is in talks to raise $100 million in what could be one of the largest funding rounds for an agritech startup in India. Those are very good numbers, considering how controlled India’s agriculture sector is, and the long gestation any agriculture startup needs owing to the nature of the sector.

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