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Bijak, a business-to-business agricultural trade platform, has raised Rs 143.92 crore ($19.37 million) as a part of its Series B funding round led by Bertelsmann, according to a regulatory filing. 

Existing investors Omidyar Network India, RTP Global Advisors, Better Capital and Sequoia Capital India’s scale-up programme Surge Ventures also participated in the funding round, the company’s filing with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) show. 

The company will be using the funds for needs of the company’s growing business, long term capital requirements, for pursuing growth plans, and for general corporate purposes, the filing said. 

As a part of the transaction, Bijak allotted 393 equity shares to the investors, at an issue price Rs 6,124.67 each, and 2,350 Series B compulsorily convertible cumulative preference shares (CCCPS) at an issue price of Rs 6,12,466.81 each, the filing shows. 

Bertelsmann alone invested $13.15 million, with Omidyar investing $3 million and RTP Global Advisors investing a little over $2 million. The current round values Bijak, operated by Krishiacharya Technologies Pvt Ltd, at $163 million according to VCCircle estimates. 

News website Entrackr first reported the latest fundraise. An email sent to Bijak did not elicit an immediate response.  

Bijak was founded in May 2019 by Nukul Upadhyaye, Mahesh Jakhotia, Jitender Bedwal, Daya Rai and Nikhil Tripathi as a B2B agricultural trade platform that allows traders, wholesalers and processors to keep a record of their transactions. 

The platform aims to bridge the information gap and lack of accountability in the agricultural commodities trade. Bijak provides users a platform with optimised logistics solutions and claims that the platform provides buyers and sellers better prices, increased working capital. 

Bijak had last raised funds in April 2020, when it secured $12 million as a part of its Series A funding round from RTP Global Advisors. 

This is in contrast with many agritech startups raising funds aggressively over the last two years. Last week,, operated by Arya Collateral Warehousing Services Pvt Ltd, had raised $60 million, in a mix of equity and debt funding from Asia Impact SA, Lightrock India, Quona Capital and US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). 

Another agritech startup BigHaat Agro Pvt Ltd had raised Rs 100 crore ($13.5 million) as a part of its Series B funding round last week led by JM Financial Private Equity’s second fund. 

Among large deals, DeHaat, a platform providing end-to-end agriculture services including agricultural input, crop advisory, market linkage platform and financial services to farmers, had raised $115 million in October from Belgium-based investment firm Sofina and Lightrock India. 

Recently, in an interview with VCCircle agritech-focussed venture capital (VC) firm Omnivore’s Managing Partner Mark Kahn had said that many agritech startups may turn unicorns this year. Omnivore, which also has backed Bijak, is the only agritech-focused VC firm in India and did 10 new investments last year. The VC had recently launched OmniX Bio, an initiative to back early stage agrifood life sciences startups. 

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