Fasal, an agritech start-up focused on precision agriculture, raised $4 million (around Rs 29.6 crore) in a pre-Series A funding round led by 3one4 Capital, the company said in a statement on Monday.
The round also witnessed the participation of existing investor Omnivore and Wavemaker Partners. Other investors include Genting Ventures (Malaysia), The Yield Lab Asia-Pacific, Antares Investments, and Sandeep Singhal of Nexus.
Fasal, operated by Wolkus Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd, said it would use the funds to expand its business across India and Southeast Asia, strengthen its full-stack services, and ramp up hiring for its sales and marketing, agronomy, and technology teams, the statement said.
Launched in 2018 by Ananda Prakash Verma and Shailendra Tiwari, Fasal is an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered IoT-SaaS platform for horticulture. It captures real-time data on growing conditions from on-farm sensors, and delivers farm-specific, actionable advisories to farmers via mobiles in vernacular languages.
The platform said it is also working on a range of new services, including fruits and vegetable-market linkages and parametric crop insurance. To date, the startup claims to have helped save more than 9 billion litres of water from irrigation, reduced pesticide expenditure by ~60%, and increased yields across over 40,000 acres of farmland.
Verma, an alumnus of IIIT-Bangalore, earlier launched tech-media startup Fossbytes. Tiwari is an alumnus of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). Both hail from Uttar Pradesh, where their families have been practicing agriculture.
“As government policies are evolving to support more robust and open supply chains, there has never been a bigger incentive for horticulture farmers to grow more and better. Fasal's full-stack offerings will fuel a rapid transition of Indian horticulture farming from gut-based legacy operations to knowledge-led profitable businesses,” Verma and Tiwari said in a joint statement.
Fasal is presently operating in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and other markets. Some horticulture value chains where Fasal is currently working include grapes, pomegranate, mango, citrus, tea, coffee, and chili.
“The value-add is clear, as shown by the 10-100% growth in farmers’ profits, depending on the crop,” Gavin Lee, General Partner at Wavemaker Partners, said in the statement.
The fundraise by Fasal comes at a time when a slew of tech startups focused on agriculture have attracted funding from investors.
In July, agritech startup Crofarm Agriproducts raised $10.2 million as part of its Series A round of financing for its community group-buying platform Otipy. In the same month, Vegrow raised $13 million (Rs 97 crore) as part of its Series A round from Lightspeed Venture Partners and Elevation Capital.
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.
Over the past year, DeHaat, Jai Kisan, AgNext, WayCool, and Animall have raised $115.95 million cumulatively. Last month, business-to-business agricultural-commerce platform SuperZop raised $4 million (Rs 29.6 crore) and Crofarm. Agriproducts raised a $10.2 million (Rs 76 crores) in a Series A round of funding.