Omnivore, LGT Lightstone bet on agri-tech firm Arya Collateral in pre-Series B round
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Arya Collateral Warehousing Services Pvt. Ltd, which runs the post-harvest services-focused agricultural-technology platform, has raised $6 million (approximately Rs 44.13 crore at current exchange rates) in pre-Series B funding.

The funding has come from impact investors Omnivore and LGT Lightstone Aspada, Arya Collateral said in a statement. Previously, LGT Lightstone had invested in Arya’s Series A round in December 2016, it added.

The Noida-based company will use the funds to accelerate the growth of its agricultural storage network and build its warehouse receipt financing book. The firm provides this financing through Aryadhan, it’s wholly-owned non-banking financial company subsidiary.

It will also begin the groundwork for its pan-India agri-warehousing marketplace and launch its Series B fundraising round by the middle of this year.

Arya Collateral was originally part of the JM Baxi Group. In 2013, co-founders Prasanna Rao and Anand Chandra acquired a controlling stake in the company. The firm provides bundled warehousing and warehouse receipt financing solutions for small farm-holders and farmer producer organisations.

Before taking on the controlling stake at Arya, Rao was the head of agri commodity finance at ICICI Bank, while Anand was previously ICICI’s national product head for agri commodity finance.

Separately, Lightstone Aspada partner and chief financial officer Kushal Agarwal said the impact firm was confident in its investment because of Arya’s focus on the underserved warehousing and related receipt financing segment in both primary and secondary geographies.

Deals in the agri-tech segment

Arya is among the several startups in the agri-tech sector to receive interest from strategic players and investors, especially social-impact backers. Players in the segment seek to address gaps in India’s existing agricultural processes and provide fair economic incentives to farmers and other members of the ecosystem.

Last month, for example, VCCircle reported that the Green Agrevolution Pvt. Ltd-operated DeHaat was set to raise funding from the venture capital arm of a development finance institution. In March 2018, DeHaat had raised $4 million (Rs 27.5 crore) in a pre-Series A round from Omnivore and US investor 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, a seed company focused on nutrition crops.

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