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Nabventures, Omnivore invest in soil-tech platform Krishitantra
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Krishitantra, a soil-tech platform, has raised $1 million (Rs. 7.6 crore) in its seed round of funding from agritech-focused venture capital investor Omnivore and Nabventures.

Nabventures is anchored by Nabard (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development). It has other investors as well.

Krishitantra provides rapid IoT-based soil testing and soil nutrition advisory solutions to farmers, farmer producer organisations (FPOs), and other agribusiness stakeholders.

Krishitantra, operated by Hyderabad-based Klonec Automation Systems Pvt Ltd, will primarily use the funding to fuel its local and foreign expansion.

"We plan to use the funding to expand our operations across India, reaching lakhs of farmers and helping them realise increased profitability and sustainability via improved soil health," said Sandeep Kondaji, founder of Krishitantra.

An engineering graduate, Kondaji had earlier floated technology consultancy Klassik Klonec Systems.

Hyderabad-based Krishitantra aims to optimise fertilizer application for farmers, increasing crop yields, reducing the cost of cultivation, and improving soil health. 

At scale, the company believes it can have a major impact reducing greenhouse gas emissions while promoting sustainable agriculture and soil conservation.

"Rapid soil testing along with real-time agronomy digitises an important component of farm extension services. Krishitantra has a market-winning solution in the making," said G R Chintala, chairman at Nabventures.

Investors

Omnivore was founded by Mark Kahn and Jinesh Shah in 2010. The impact investor backs Indian startups developing and using technology in the food, agriculture and rural sectors.

Omnivore is investing out of its second fund, which marked the final close at $97 million (Rs 679 crore) last year.

Its investments from the new fund include agri-tech startups Fasal and Clover and aquaculture platform Aquaconnect.

Nabventures had floated a Rs 700 crore (about $100 million) venture capital fund to invest in rural and agriculture-focused startups last year.  

That was the first time Nabard had launched a fund of its own. Until then Nabard had been investing in other VC funds as a limited partner.

Recently, the Nabard fund made bets on agri-input and produce platform Unnati and agri lending platform Jai Kisan.

Peers

A slew of tech startups focused on agriculture have attracted funding from investors in the past few months. A bunch of venture capital funds VCCircle spoke with had said that startups in the agri space would benefit from the coronavirus pandemic.

In June, agri-tech startup Concinnity Agro2o Pvt. Ltd raised funding from Mumbai Angels Network.

In May, Intello Labs raised Series A funding led by Saama Capital. In April, DeHaat scooped up $12 million in its Series A round led by Sequoia Capital India.

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