Omnichannel agriculture advisory and commerce marketplace AgroStar has raised $70 million in its Series D funding round from Evolvence, Schroders Capital, Hero Enterprise, and CDC. Existing investors Aavishkaar Capital, Accel, Bertelsmann, Chiratae Ventures, and Rabo Frontier Ventures also participated in the round.
The new round has come after a gap of 33 months for AgroStar. Bertelsmann India had led a $27 million Series C round in the Pune-based company in March 2019.
The fresh funds will be deployed towards product and business expansion, hiring and strengthening omnichannel strategies, said the company in a press release.
Launched in 2013 as a missed call knowledge service for farmers, AgroStar has evolved into a full-stack platform for farmers and provides farm advisory solutions and agri inputs through a combination of online and offline channels. It has over 1,000 offline touchpoints across Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra among others.
AgroStar plans to have 5,000 such touchpoints over the next few years.
According to its website, the company’s Android-only app has over 5 million downloads where farmers exchange knowledge and purchase authentic agri-inputs.
The company has been limited to content and commerce until now but it’s set to begin lending soon. “We’re planning to offer credit to farmers through third-party lenders and help farmers to sell and market their produce,” said Shardul Seth, co-founder, AgroStar to Entrackr.
While the company is yet to disclose financial numbers for FY21, its operating income surged 80% to Rs 153.69 crore in FY20 from Rs 85.56 crore in FY19. On the lines of revenue, its losses also shot up 78% to Rs 93.81 crore in FY20 from Rs 52.82 crore in the preceding fiscal year (FY19).
This is one of the largest funding rounds in agritech startups in India. In October, Patna and Gurugram-based DeHaat had scooped up $115 million in Series D which was the largest funding raised by any Indian agritech startup at one go.
Tiger Global-backed Ninjacart also raised $90 million in its Series C round whereas Waycool has kicked off a new round and is likely to raise a larger sum from new and existing backers. Entrackr had exclusively reported this on October 13. AgroStar competes with Unnati, Gramophone, DeHaat and a few others. Unnati also raised $8 million from Incofin Investment Management, NabVentures and Orios.