FarMart, a SaaS-led food supply platform, announced a $10 million (around Rs 74.8 crore) funding round led by Matrix Partners India, with participation from Innoven Capital and existing investors Omidyar Network India, Avaana Capital, and 500 Startups, the Gurgaon-based company said in a statement.
Angel investors participating in the latest round include Amit Lakhotia (Founder, Park+), Jitendra Gupta (founder and CEO, Jupiter), KP Balaraj (ex-founder, WestBridge Capital and Sequoia Capital India), OfBusiness Founder’s Fund, Revant Bhate and Dhyanesh Shah (co-founders, Mosaic Wellness).
The funds raised will be used to expand FarMart’s distribution network across the country, scale product capabilities as well as grow the team, the statement added.
The round also provides an exit for early investors Indian Angel Network (IAN) and LetsVenture. IAN had made a seed round investment in 2017.
In June this year, FarMart had raised $2.4 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by Omidyar Network India and Avaana Capital.
Operated by Farmart Service Pvt Ltd, the platform was founded in December 2015 by childhood friends Alekh Sanghera and Mehtab Singh Hans.
FarMart addresses the highly fragmented $300 billion plus food supply market in India. FarMart’s tech platform enables food businesses to source quality produce in large quantities directly from the farmgate at cheaper pricing and a faster turn-around-time.
It also helps retailers procure commodities from farmers and sell directly to large enterprises through the FarMart platform which opens up a completely new source of revenue for them.
Since launching the market linkage platform six months ago, the company has scaled its network to over 15,000 active agri-input retailers and 750,000 farmers who have shipped over 30,000+ tonnes of produce on the FarMart platform. Today, its over 100 B2B buyers include ITC, Olam, and Cargill among others.
“Riding on the wave of liberalisation of agri-markets, we are uniquely positioned to build a deep and liquid delivery-spot market for agri-commodities. Farmers across the country would have direct access to formal markets, selling any type of commodity within a vicinity of 5-7km from their farms,” said Mehtab Singh Hans, co-founder, FarMart.
Sudipto Sannigrahi, vice-president, Matrix India, said, “FarMart’s tech-led scalable model makes them well-positioned to disrupt the $300B+ Agriculture market and their extremely strong growth over the last six months is a testament to their model and execution..."
Shruti Srivastava, principal, Avaana Capital, said, “Digitisation of agricultural value chains has the potential to improve access to inputs for farmers and enhance market access and realisations for output. FarMart’s approach of leveraging existing stakeholders in the value chain allows them to scale this digitisation rapidly in a capital efficient manner. The company's progress has been a strong validation of this approach and we continue to be bullish on the team's ability to build a game-changing business here.”
FarMart is among several startups in the larger agri-tech segment to pull in funding from strategic players and investors. This year, venture capital funds have already pumped in $234 million in 32 agritech startups till September.
Early-stage government-backed venture growth fund Nabventures told VCCircle this week that within the next 30 days, it will increase its overall investments in the agri-tech space to Rs 150 crore.
Matrix Partners India
Matrix Partners India is an investment firm with approximately $1 billion under management. Founded in 2006, the firm invests in companies targeting the Indian consumer and enterprise market at the seed, early, and early growth stages.
Matrix India has historically backed more than 60 companies including cab-hailing firm Ola, Razorpay (payments), OfBusiness (credit led B2B marketplace), Five Star Business Finance (SME lending), Ola Electric (electric vehicles), Stanza Living (tech-enabled student housing platform), OneCard (mobile-first credit card), Country Delight (D2C dairy & fresh foods brand), DealShare (social commerce platform), Captain Fresh (seafood marketplace), Bijnis (B2B platform for factories) and Bengaluru-based Vegrow tech platform for farmers, among others.
Its recent investments include GoKwik (e-commerce enablement platform), dezerv., financial advisory and investment management platform, OTO Capital (two-wheeler financier) and Saveo Healthtech Pvt. Ltd, a business-to-business e-commerce marketplace for pharmacies.
In April this year, VCCircle reported that Matrix Partners took huge haircuts in two of its portfolio companies.