Agri-tech startup BigHaat snags pre-Series A funding
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BigHaat Agro Pvt. Ltd, which operates an online agricultural inputs platform, has raised more than $2 million (about Rs 14.93 crore at current exchange rates) in a pre-Series A funding round.

The round in the Bengaluru-based agri-tech startup has been led by Japan’s Beyond Next Ventures, with participation from Rockstud Capital, existing investor Ankur Capital and other angel investors.

BigHaat – set up in 2015 by Sateesh Nukala and Sachin Nandwana – says it is aiming to digitise the agricultural inputs ecosystem as well as empower farmers through a combination of its e-commerce platform, as well as by leveraging data to provide crop advisory services.

The startup will use the capital it has raised in this pre-Series A round to enhance its technological infrastructure, as well as acquire talent for its marketing and technology teams.

The company says it is aiming to engage with over 10 million farmers across the country in the next two years. “The traditional agri-inputs supply-chain is a broken experience, causing financial distress for the farmer,” Nukala said. “Technology can address this serious problem and transform a farmer’s pre-harvest journey into a profitable one.”

Beyond Next Ventures was established in 2014 and says it is an independent accelerator focussed on incubation-based investments in technology startups.

Rockstud Capital was founded by angel investor Abhishek Agarwal. VCCircle reported earlier that the VC fund would back both startups as well as listed companies.

Ankur Capital, an early-stage fund, has been operating since 2014. It is currently investing out of its second fund.

SEP Ventures acted as the advisor to BigHaat on this transaction.

Deals in the agri-tech space

Several startups operating in the agri-tech space have raised funding in recent months. In June, for example, New Delhi-based Concinnity Agro2o Pvt. Ltd raised funding from Mumbai Angels Network. The startup focuses on making hydroponics-based farming accessible to both small farmers and commercial institutions.

In May, poultry farming startup Eggoz raised Rs 2.5 crore from a clutch of investors including Tracxn Labs, Angellist, Tri-Deep Capital and founders of LetsTransport.

Also in May, artificial intelligence-focused agri-tech startup Intello Labs Pvt. Ltd announced a Rs 45 crore Series A funding round led by new investor Saama Capital.

Before that, in April, dairy products company UzhavarBumi Agro Products Pvt. Ltd raised Rs 1.7 crore from Native Angels Network, the investment arm of Tier-II and Tier-III focused Nativelead.

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