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Former Britannia exec’s dairy startup Happy Cow bags seed funding

Happy Cow Dairy Co Pvt. Ltd, a startup which aggregates milk from dairy farmers in rural Maharashtra, has raised Rs 4 crore (around $6,15,000) in seed funding from a bunch of individuals, according to a media report.

An unidentified former executive at foreign lender Citibank, serial entrepreneur Mahendra Mehta and others contributed to the round, The Economic Times reported.

Mehta is the chairman of Happy Cow Dairy, according to its website.

An email sent late evening to Happy Cow Dairy did not elicit a response till the time of publishing this report.

The company, which was incorporated in 2013 by Sarad Garodia, will use the funds to expand its operations.

Garodia was earlier associated with the dairy division of Indian food products maker Britannia Industries Ltd and dairy firm Schreiber Dynamix Dairies Ltd, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Happy Cow says it aims to help farmers who suffer owing to erratic demand and supply of milk, poor pricing policy, malpractices of middlemen and negligible support.

The company has set up bulk milk collection centers which have facilities such as milk testing, grading, chilling and storage.

Happy Cow is among the crop of dairy startups that have sprung up in the world's largest milk-producing nation in recent years.

Among well-funded players in the space include Chennai-based dairy products maker Milky Mist Dairy Food Pvt. Ltd.

VCCircle reported last year that Milky Mist had revived its plan to raise capital from private equity firms to expand its production capacity.

Madhya Pradesh-based Sahayog Dairy, which is operated by Sahayog Clean Milk Pvt. Ltd (SCMPL), is another of the regional startups in the dairy space to have attracted several investors in recent years.

Other similar startups include Bihar’s Osam brand and Chennai’s Adinath Food Industries.

In November 2016, HR Food Processing Pvt. Ltd, which makes dairy products under the brand name Osam, raised Rs 45 crore in its Series B round of funding.

The dairy market in the country is mainly dominated by private dairy firms such as Kwality Ltd in the north or Hatsun or Tirumala in the south, in addition to larger co-operative players such as Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which sells its products under the Amul brand.

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