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Lightspeed, Elevation Capital lead Series A funding in agritech startup Vegrow
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Vegrow, a business to business (B2B) agritech platform for fruit and vegetables, on Tuesday said it has raised $13 million (Rs 97 crore) as part of its Series A funding round. 

The funding was co-led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Elevation Capital, said Vegrow in a statement. 

Existing investors Matrix Partners India, Ankur Capital, Better Capital and Titan Capital also participated in the round. 

Bengaluru-based Vegrow, owned by Chifu Agritech Pvt Ltd, will use the funds to expand to 100 cities, invest in technology and launch new products. 

Vegrow was founded by Shobhit Jain, Praneeth Kumar, Mrudhukar Batchu and Kiran Naik last year. All four studied at IIT. 

Jain and Kumar were earlier with the agri-business vertical of ITC. Kumar later joined Agrostar, where he led strategic initiatives. 

Batchu, who was director of product at Chronus before Vegrow, has a family background in farming. Naik was involved in different farms. 

Vegrow had raised $2.5 million (Rs 18 crore) in its seed funding round led by early-stage venture capital firms Matrix Partners India and Ankur Capital in July last year. 

The startup focuses on fruit and high value vegetables. Its platform helps farmers in crop planning, gives them access to inputs, monitors their practices and sells their harvest t. 

Vaibhav Agrawal, partner at Lightspeed, said that Vegrow has demonstrated growth and positive unit margin using its tech-oriented approach to standardise quality, minimise inventory and retain farmers. 

"Vegrow's farm-centred approach, coupled with strong insights, is allowing the team to fundamentally re-imagine and augment these supply chains," said Akarsh Shrivastava, vice president, Elevation Capital. 

Several startups operating in the agri-tech space have raised funding in the past few years. The segment also got attention after the government last year introduced bills for agricultural reforms despite a huge pushback from the farmer community. 

Earlier this week, agritech startup Crofarm Agriproducts raised $10.2 million as part of its Series A round of financing for its community group buying platform Otipy.  

Last month, Egreens, a Delhi-based investment firm, launched a Rs 15 crore fund to back early stage agritech startups.  

In May, agri financing startup Jai Kisan pulled in $30 million (Rs 217 crore) in debt and equity for its Series A round of funding led by Mirae Asset.  

In April, agritech startup Brainwired raised an undisclosed amount in its bridge funding round.

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