Phaneesh Murthy-backed Farm Taaza raises $8 mn in Series A funding
Kumar Ramachandran, CEO, GS Farm Taaza

GS Farm Taaza Produce Pvt. Ltd, a fresh produce supply chain management firm, has raised $8 million (Rs 52 crore) in Series A funding led by Hong Kong-based Epsilon Venture Partners and Tara India Fund IV, which is managed by IL&FS Investment Managers Ltd, it said in a statement.

Investors who participated in the seed round also put in money.

The Bangalore-based company had received $1 million in its seed round from angel investors such as former iGate CEO Phaneesh Murthy and former Asia-Pacific chief of Intel Capital Sudheer Kuppam.

The company will use the funds to scale the business and strengthen its tech infrastructure by leveraging machine learning, artificial intelligence and data analytics, it said.

Farm Taaza was founded by Kumar Ramachandran in August 2015. An alumnus of the University of South Florida, Ramachandran was associated with companies such as Vignani Technologies, Applied Materials India and Hitachi Data Systems in the past.

The business-to-business startup supplies products to retail stores, kirana shops, and hotels, restaurant and catering firms across Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad, and has collection centres in Chickballapur, Ooty, Krishnagiri, Olakoor and Mettupalayam.

“We believe the next phase of innovation in Indian e-commerce is in the B2B space. The greatest potential comes from the digitisation of supply chain – automation, data management, collaborative planning and forecasting, smart sourcing and product tracking...” said Mahesh Vaidya, general partner at Epsilon Venture Partners.

Farm Taaza claims that over 1,400 farmers supply more than 150 varieties of fruits and vegetables to it.

Last year, the company had acquired two agri supply-chain startups, Bangalore-based Kaivalya Farms and Mysore-based Farm Exotica, to expand its market share in South India, particularly in Karnataka.

The long-neglected farm technology segment has turned attractive for venture capitalists of late.

In April, Chennai-based omni-channel fresh produce distribution platform raised $2.7 million from impact investor Aspada Investment Company.

In February, Delhi-based raised funding from a clutch of angel investors.

International Finance Corporation, the private-sector investment arm of the World Bank, planned to make a debt investment of $30 million in ETC Agro Processing (India) Pvt Ltd.

Ooty-based Lawrencedale Agro Processing India Pvt. Ltd, which supplies farm-fresh vegetables to organised retailers in South India under the brand Leaf, raised an undisclosed amount from Denmark-based BESTSELLER FOUNDATION and US-based venture capital fund Unitus Impact in September last year.

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