Like several other industries, technology has become useful for the agriculture space, as well. From improving crop yields to making educated farming decisions, technology in agriculture has proven to have massive benefits. According to a report, the market for agricultural tech in the country is poised to hit $24.1 billion in the next couple of years.
Bengaluru-based Fyllo is among thousands of relatively young startups that are deploying technologies such as IoT and AI to improve farm productivity. The company says its IoT system is capable of understanding and measuring the precise requirements of plants on a real-time basis and uses that data to give insights to the farmers. Fyllo’s ambit covers crop-specific models for irrigation, nutrients, diseases, pests, and weather management for each physiological stage of crop and soil.
Founded in 2019 by Sudhanshu Rai and Sumit Sheoran, Fyllo essentially installs a farm IoT device containing several on-field sensors. It collects data from the soil, crop canopy, and environment around the crop. As mentioned above, the data is then analyzed by the company’s machine learning algorithms to help give recommendations to farmers on their mobile app, which supports all major Indian languages.
“We have been able to increase the income by 50% while reducing the input cost by 25%… Over 50% of the farmers come to us through referrals. It shows the amount of customer satisfaction we have,” Rai told Entrackr.
Rai further said that the company started with just ten farmers in 2019. It increased to 100 in 2020 and 900+ in 2021. Now, more than 5,000 farmers use Fyllo at over 16,000 acres.
Since its inception, Fyllo has raised over $2 million in funding. It is backed by the likes of Titan Capital, 100X.VC, and Ninjacart. The last funding round, held last year, valued the firm at $10 million. Its revenue was Rs 1.68 crore in the fiscal year ending March 2022.
While the company has plans to increase its presence across India, it also aims to leverage the data on its platform for further product diversification. Rai disclosed that the company plans to launch a farm-specific crop insurance service and a platform for agri-input companies where they can visualize the country-wide progression of disease/pests and climatic events.
“We will soon have the largest network of weather monitoring systems in the country. This can help us build a lot of cross-industry solutions down the line. The near future focus is on using this data along with other data sources to build solutions for the agri industry,” he added.
India’s agricultural sector has continued to be a key contributor to the nation’s economy for decades. And technology, including the latest 5G connectivity and drones, is set to transform the sector. With the agri-tech in India expected to grow rapidly, there will be ample opportunities for startups to innovate. Cropin, Fasal, and Intello Labs are some of the known firms in this space. In December 2022, Cropin raised $14 million or Rs 113.4 crore from Google, Singapore-based Impact Assets, and existing investors, reflecting strong investor interest in the industry.