Cross-border agritech platform Produze on Tuesday said it has secured seed funding of $2.6 million (around Rs 20 crore) led by Accel Partners.
The round also saw participation from a host of investors including All In Capital, Thirukumaran Nagarajan (CEO at Ninjacart); Kartheeswaran KK, (COO at Ninjacart); Anilkumar SG, (CEO at Samunnati); Pawan Gupta (CEO at Fashinza); Angad Kikla (Co-founder at CityMall) and Ranjith Mukundan (CEO and Co-founder at Stellapps), among others.
The Bengaluru-based startup plans to use the fresh funds to digitize its cross border supply chain as well as expand procurement and distribution capabilities.
Founded by Ben Mathew, Gaurav Agrawal, Rakesh Sasidharan and Emil Soman earlier this year, Produze enables agri producers to sell directly to global retailers and distributors. The platform digitizes procurement operations through a network of source producers, digitized exporting operations and importing operations.
“Cross border supply chain for agri produce is fragmented with several intermediaries and poorly managed processes, which creates inconsistency in quality, inefficient prices and wastage - leading to loss in value for agri producers, retailers and distributors. At Produze, we’re enabling seamless commerce between agri producers and retailers to return this wasted value back to them” said Ben Mathew, C0-founder and CEO, Produze.
“We feel Produze technology and supply chain capabilities can help improve selection of fresh farm produce for customers at more affordable prices while compensating the producers fairly,” said Pratik Agarwal, Principal, Accel.
Accel, which typically comes in at a seed stage and then makes follow-on investments, has been the first institutional investor in more than 87% of all portfolio companies. Flipkart and Freshworks are examples of companies backed by Accel from their initial seed rounds through all subsequent financings.
In March, VCCircle reported that Accel India has raised $650 million in commitments for its seventh fund to invest in new opportunities like emerging tech across India and Southeast Asia.
"This money we believe is the right size for India and Southeast Asia to build a world class return to our investors. Investing is easy but making our investee companies durable and potentially going public and returning the money is more important," Shekhar Kirani, Partner, Accel, told VCCircle in an interaction.
The broader agritech segment in India has attracted significant investor interest in the past years. According to a Bain report last year, private equity and venture capital investments in the agritech segment increased to $329 million in 2020 from $296 million in 2019. The segment will see significant investment and is projected to grow to a $30–$35 billion market by 2025, it said.
Some of the significantly funded startups in this space include Ninjacart, DeHaat, WayCool and AgroStar. Earlier this week, Vegrow, a business to business (B2B) agritech platform for fruit and vegetables, has announced to have raised $25 million in its Series B funding round led by Prosus Ventures (formerly known as Naseprs Ventures).