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Agri-tech startup Gold Farm raises $2 mn in seed funding
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Agricultural technology platform Gold Farm has raised $2 million (Rs 13 crore) in seed funding from farm equipment and automobile manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra and early-stage venture catalyst Infuse Ventures, the startup's co-founder Abhilash Thirupathy told VCCircle.

Infuse Ventures, which is housed at IIM Ahmedabad's Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship, had also participated in a $560,000 round at the company in June 2014, according to VCCEdge, the data research arm of VCCircle.

The startup will use the funds to build the team, upgrade technology and expand services across Karnataka, Thirupathy added. Part of the capital will also go towards farmer outreach programmes.

The Economic Times was the first to report the fund-raise.

Bangalore-based AK Surya PowerMagic Pvt. Ltd, which runs Gold Farm, was founded by Thirupathy and Karthik Ravindranath in 2012. Thirupathy had co-founded healthcare startup Rx HealthcareMagic Pvt. Ltd in the past while Ravindranath had co-founded aerospace engineering services firm Sakthi Aerospace.

Gold Farm provides farmers an app-based platform for booking farm equipment, including water pumps, tractors and other irrigation machines. Its propriety product Honey Bee provides end-to-end solutions for aggregating farm equipment, from booking and scheduling to dispatch and monitoring of operations. The startup currently caters to around 25,000 farmers.

The farm-tech space has seen several venture capital investments of late. Last month, agri-tech firm CropIn raised an undisclosed amount in pre-Series A funding from Singapore-based early-stage fund Beenext.

Crofarm, which connects farmers with retailers, raised $783,000 in a pre-Series A round led by US-based venture development firm Factor[e] Ventures.

Noida-based EM3 Agri Services Pvt. Ltd, which offers on-demand farming services and machinery, raised $10 million in a Series B round led by London-based Global Innovation Fund.

In March, Indian Angel Network made an undisclosed investment in Gurgaon-based FarMart, a renting platform for farm equipment.

In February, Delhi-based VDSS Agri Tech Pvt. Ltd, which owns and operates Paalak.in, raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from a clutch of angel investors.

In January, Mumbai-based RML AgTech Pvt. Ltd, which provides support services to farmers via mobile phones, raised $4 million from existing investor IvyCap Ventures.

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