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B2B agri-tech startup Bijak raises Series A funding
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Bijak, a business-to-business agricultural-technology startup, has raised Rs 90.76 crore (nearly $12 million at current exchange rates) in its Series A funding round led by Russian venture capital firm RTP Global.

Others that participated in the round include Sequoia-backed Surge Ventures, Omidyar Network, AL Trust, Tempo Ventures and Omnivore Partners, according to regulatory filings accessed by VCCircle.

The Gurugram-based company has issued 2,591 Series A compulsorily convertible preference shares with a face value of Rs 100 at a premium of Rs 3.50 lakh per unit.

While Ru-Net has invested a total of Rs 38.08 crore, Surge Ventures and Omidyar Network have invested Rs 15.23 crore and Rs 17.51 crore, respectively. AL Trust has committed Rs 1.43 crore, while Tempo Ventures and Omnivore Partners have invested nearly Rs 1 crore and Rs 17.51 crore, respectively, the filings added.

Omnivore, Omidyar and Sequoia Surge are returning investors in Bijak. The three along with early-stage investment firm Better Capital took part in a $2.5 million (around Rs 17.74 crore) seed round in the business-to-business startup in December last year. The investment marked Surge and Omidyar’s first agri-tech commitment.

“We are targeting a $200 billion market in India which has over five million middlemen,” Bijak’s co-founder Nukul Upadhyaye had said at the time of the company’s seed round.

Bijak, operated by Krishiacharya Technologies Pvt. Ltd, was founded in May last year by Upadhyaye, Mahesh Jakhotia, Jitender Bedwal, Daya Rai and Nikhil Tripathi. It aims to bridge the information gap and lack of accountability in the agricultural commodities trade.

The company claims its platform gives buyers and sellers better prices, increased working capital and optimised logistics. Its mobile application is available in several languages and is available in states such as Maharashtra, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab.

Deals in the agri-tech segment

The agriculture-technology segment has recorded growing interest from strategic players and investors, especially impact-oriented backers. Players in the space seek to address gaps in India’s existing agricultural structure and provide fair economic incentives to farmers and other ecosystem members.

Earlier this month, the Green Agrevolution Pvt. Ltd-operated DeHaat raised $12 million (around Rs 90.75 crore) in its Series A round. Sequoia Capital India led the round, with Dutch development bank FMO, Omnivore and AgFunder also taking part.

The development came after VCCircle in February reported that DeHaat was raising around $1.8 million from FMO Ventures Program, the venture capital arm of the Netherlands-based development finance institution.

In January, agriculture enterprise resource planning platform FarmERP raised Series A funding from software company TechnoGen IT Services India Pvt. Ltd.

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