InMobi, Snapdeal founders back agri supply chain startup Truce

Mumbai-based startup White Shadow Technology Pvt Ltd, which runs a fresh farm vegetables and fruits supply chain venture under the banner of Truce, has raised over Rs 2.5 crore ($370,000) in an angel round of funding.

Snapdeal co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, Shaadi.com founder Anupam Mittal, InMobi co-founder Amit Gupta, Utsav Somani and Neeraj Goenka of Mumbai Angels besides Farooq Adam Mukadam of Shopsense Retail Technologies were among the group of investors, a source privy to the development said.

Data analytics firm Tracxn, which competes with VCCircle's research platform VCCEdge, led the investment.

Truce co-founder Saurabh Jain confirmed that the firm has raised funding but did not share details on the quantum or how the firm plans to use the money.

The company procures fruits and vegetables from farmers across Maharashtra and sells them to mid-large sized restaurant and hotel chains in Mumbai.

It was launched last year by Kedar Gokhale and Jain. Gokhale, an alumnus of IIT Bombay, had previously worked with Pratham Education Foundation and Boston Consulting Group. Jain, his batchmate, had earlier worked at food-tech startup TinyOwl and was involved with Fractal Analytics and JayPee Capital services Ltd. In his last job at TinyOwl he was head of business intelligence and as per his LinkedIn profile he quit the firm last July.

TinyOwl had to go through a major restructuring late last year and faced employee unrest.

Meanwhile, the fruit and vegetable supply chain space has witnessed a number of venture investment deals in the past.

Early this month, Siddhivinayak Agri Processing Pvt Ltd, a Pune-based potato supply chain management company that operates as SV Agri, raised an undisclosed amount in a Series B round of funding led by impact venture capital firm Lok Capital. The deal marked Lok Capital’s first investment in the agriculture sector. Existing investor Aspada Investment Company also participated in this round.

Aspada has also clinched other deals in the space in the past. In 2014, it committed to invest over $2 million (Rs 12 crore then) in New Delhi-based fresh fruit supply chain company Allfresh Supply Management Pvt Ltd (Allfresh). A year before that Ooty-based Lawrencedale Agro Processing India Pvt Ltd, which supplies farm fresh vegetables to organised retailers in south India under the brand ‘Leaf', had raised $550,000 from Aspada.

Last year, Bangalore-based agri supply chain firm Ergos Business Solutions Pvt Ltd raised seed funding from Aavishkaar Venture Management.

A fragmented market for agricultural produce across the country and lack of sufficient cold storage infrastructure leads to huge wastage of fresh produce as they rot much before reaching the consumer’s table. But various private agencies and firms have been trying to solve the problem of agri supply chain.

Startups like Truce aim to cut off the myriad middleman and supply fresh produce to the customer (in this case hospitality firms or B2B clients) faster with lesser mark-up on what farmers sell it for.

This article has been updated with additional information.

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