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Matrix Partners, Ankur Capital lead seed funding for agri-tech startup Vegrow
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Agritech startup Vegrow has 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. 

The round also saw participation from early-stage investment firms Better Capital and Titan Capital as well as HNIs including Sanjiv Rangrass, CEO of agri-business division of ITC Ltd, and Rohit MA, cofounder of Cloudnine Hospital, the company said in a statement.

Bengaluru-based Vegrow, owned by Chifu Agritech Pvt. Ltd, says it increases net earnings of partner farmers by leveraging technology across different stages of the farming cycle.

It helps farmers in crop planning, gives them access to quality inputs, monitors their adherence to best practices and sells their harvest to the right set of buyers.

"We are partnering with farmers and building value chains for identified commodities. We are investing in farm-tech & supply-chain tech to help us realise a higher value for our farmers," Shobhit Jain, co-founder of Vegrow, said.

Jain and three other co-founders Praneeth Kumar, Mrudhukar Batchu and Kiran Naik launched the firm in April this year.

All four founders hail from IIT.

Jain and Kumar were earlier engaged with the agri-business vertical of ITC. 

Kumar later joined Agrostar, where he was leading strategic initiatives for the company. 

Batchu, who was director of product at Chronus before co-founding Vegrow, has a family background in farming. 

Naik was involved in different farms in the past.

"Vegrow’s model of aggregating fragmented farms to help unlock economies of scale with technology-led interventions significantly increases the earning potential of partner farmers," said Tarun Davda, MD at Matrix India.

Vegrow is among several startups in the larger agri-tech segment to pull in funding from strategic players and investors. 

In May, Clover Ventures Pvt. Ltd raised debt funding from Alteria Capital.

In April, Green Agrevolution Pvt. Ltd-operated DeHaat raised $12 million(around Rs 90.75 crore) in its Series A round. The round was led by Sequoia India, with participation from Dutch development bank FMO and AgFunder.

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

In December last year, Sathguru Catalyst Advisors, the asset management arm of Innovation in Food and Agriculture Fund, said it would invest up to $6 million in Nu Genes Pvt. Ltd.

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