Entrepreneurship

Agritech startup DeHaat raises $30 million led by Prosus Ventures

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NEW DELHI: Dehaat, an agritech startup, which connects small farmers with a network of small suppliers of farm input and equipment, has raised $30 million in Series C funding, led by Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures).

RTP Global also participated in the round, along with existing investors Sequoia India, FMO, Omnivore, and AgFunder.

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With this funding, the company plans to strengthen its technology platform and expand to other parts of the country, the company.

“The recent investment from marquee investors like Prosus Ventures, RTP Global and others is a strong validation of our goal to become the world’s largest farmer aggregator and will help us scale up in both size and scope,” said Shashank Kumar, co-Founder & chief executive, DeHaat.

Founded in 2012 by IIT Delhi alumnus Shashank Kumar and IIT Kharagpur alumnus Manish Kumar, the Gurgaon and Patna-based startup showed a 3.5 times annual growth over the past two years and has created a rural retail network of more than 1,300 DeHaat micro-entreprenuers for last-mile delivery. It serves over 3,60,000 farmers in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha.

With a 60-member tech team, DeHaat has developed web and mobile interfaces which help farmers with associated agricultural input companies as well as bulk buyers of agricultural produce.

“DeHaat is catering to a massive market in India with the agriculture sector worth more than $350 billion to the country’s economy and consisting of an estimated 140 million+ farmers,” said Ashutosh Sharma, head of India Investments, Prosus Ventures.

DeHaat also provides farmers with access to over 4,000 agricultural inputs, combined with AI-based customised crop advisory content of pest and disease management for major crops delivered via mobile app and call centers.

The platform aggregates corn, wheat, rice, bajra, fruits, and vegetables from farmers on its network and directly supplies to over 500 bulk buyers, including retail chains and e-commerce companies.

Investment bank Dexter Capital was the exclusive financial advisor to Dehaat.

“We have been watching DeHaat for 18 months and have been impressed with the speed of development that the team is demonstrating. Agritech is exploding in India and DeHaat is building a unique infrastructure platform and is one of the only companies delivering an end-to-end solution for the farming community in India,”said Galina Chifina, Partner, RTP Global.

India is home to more than 450 agritech startups, growing at a rate of 25% year-on-year, according to a Nasscom 2019 report. The sector has received more than $248 million in funding as of June 2019, a growth of 300% as compared to the previous year.

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