India Quotient leads seed round in agri-tech startup LeanAgri
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Agri-tech startup LeanAgri has raised an undisclosed amount in a seed round led by venture capital firm India Quotient and joined by angel investors, a senior executive of the company told TechCircle.

Others who participated in the round include Better Capital’s AngelList India Syndicate; Sachin Oswal, co-founder of online commerce player Infibeam; Ajay Prabhu, chief operating officer at Quest Global; and Hari Balasubramanian, an angel investor, the executive said.

“This investment will be used for product development to make the farmer-centric product and service more impactful and user-friendly. With the revamped product, we plan to expand to more number of farmers in existing locations,” said Sai Gole, co-founder of LeanAgri, owned by LeanCrop Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

Founded in April 2017 by Gole and Siddharth Dialani, LeanAgri works to design solutions for optimising farming in India by improving productivity and reducing the cost of production for farmers. Both Dialani and Gole are engineering graduates from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras. Dialani has previously worked with Housing.com while Gole has had a stint at ITC Ltd as project manager.

“India is a proud producer of crops like wheat, cotton, sugarcane but our productivities are less than a third of the other countries. We are trying to solve this crucial problem with the help of technology. Our personalised farming techniques for farmers based on farm data provide impact by improving the quality and quantity of the production,” Gole said.

Pune-based LeanAgri has been working in the business-to-business segment with the governments of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, banks, and fertiliser companies. “We also provide personalised farming solutions to farmers on a pay-per-use model,” she said.

The startup claims to be currently working with more than 4,000 farmers across Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. It also claims to have seen a median 30-40% increase in production and 15-20% decrease in cost of production.

The startup had last raised $50,000 in a pre-seed round in 2017 from former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. 

LeanAgri joins a number of startups that have raised funding in the agri-tech segment over the past year.

Last month, Punjab-based agri-analytics startup AgNext Technologies Pvt.Ltd raised funds from early-stage venture capital firm Kalaari Capital. AgNext focuses on horticulture and plantation crops. It collects spatial, temporal and spectral data to provide solutions across the agriculture and food value chain. Its digital platform aims to improve the productivity and profitability of growers and food processors.

Last year in December, Bengaluru-based agri-marketing platform NinjaCart raised Rs 250 crore (around $35 million) in a Series B funding round led by US-based Accel and Switzerland-based agri investor Syngenta Ventures.

In March 2018, AgShift Inc., a California-based startup building an autonomous food inspection system using deep learning, raised $2 million (Rs 13 crore) in seed funding.

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