Making its first bet on agricultural technology, multi-stage private investment firm Matrix Partners India has invested an undisclosed amount of seed money in agri-supply-chain optimisation startup Gobasco Pvt. Ltd.
The artificial intelligence-powered Gobasco platform, which assists small and medium enterprises in the agriculture sector, besides farmers, will use the funds to add more members to its core team. It will also scale up its proprietary technology platform, the venture capital firm said in a statement.
BITS Pilani and FMS Delhi alumnus Vedant Katiyar and IIT Roorkee graduate Abhishek Sharma, who also has a PhD in AI from the University of Maryland, founded the company earlier this year to addresses supply chain optimisation problems in the Indian agri-commodities space. Earlier, Sharma had a stint in Apple Inc. as an AI researcher.
Gobasco combines data integration with its indigenously-built technology to bring efficiency and transparency to the entire value chain – from farm to fork. It is building a full-stack commerce platform that would offer operational efficiency, improve realisation for farmers, reduce wastage and enhance price and market discovery for agri-commodities.
“Our goal is to bring the power of AI and big data to optimise the agri-supply-chain, which directly translates into the betterment of millions of Indians,” said Sharma, adding that the company is trying to bring the benefits of cutting-edge technology to the rural population.
The startup claims to have transacted with over 500 farmers and buyers across 15 locations in the National Capital Region and Lucknow, within three months of full-scale operations.
“Gobasco’s approach provides farmers and agri-SMEs with a data-rich technology platform and network to grow their profits, and create new opportunities in rural commerce,” said Rajinder Balaraman, vice-president, Matrix India.
The farm-tech space has seen several venture capital investments of late.
Earlier this week, Gold Farm, which provides farmers an app-based platform for booking farm equipment, had raised $2 million in seed funding from farm equipment and automobile manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra and early-stage venture catalyst Infuse Ventures.
Last month, Bengaluru-based CropIn, which provides farm management software and apps to enable connected and data-driven farming, had raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-Series A round from Singapore-based early-stage fund Beenext.
Crofarm, which connects farmers with retailers, had raised $783,000 in a pre-Series A round led by US-based venture development firm Factor[e] Ventures.
Noida-based EM3 Agri Services Pvt. Ltd, which offers on-demand farming services and machinery, had raised $10 million in a Series B round led by London-based Global Innovation Fund.
In March, Indian Angel Network had made an undisclosed investment in Gurgaon-based FarMart, a renting platform for farm equipment.
In February, Delhi-based VDSS Agri Tech Pvt. Ltd, which owns and operates Paalak.in, had raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from a clutch of angel investors.
In January, Mumbai-based RML AgTech Pvt. Ltd, which provides support services to farmers via mobile phones, had raised $4 million from existing investor IvyCap Ventures.