Arya Collateral Warehousing Services Pvt. Ltd, an agricultural-technology startup focussed on the post-harvest phase, has secured $21 million (Rs 154.67 crore at current exchange rates) in a Series B fundraising exercise.
The round in Noida-based Arya has been led by Quona Capital, with other participants including LGT Lightstone Aspada and Omnivore. Several lenders also participated by providing debt to the company, it said in a statement.
This infusion comes after Arya in March raised $6 million in pre-Series B funding. Omnivore and LGT Lightstone Aspada took part in that round. Previously, LGT Lightstone had invested in Arya’s Series A round in December 2016.
The company said it will use the capital raised in the latest round to expand financing services to farmers through its financial technology arm Aryadhan. It will also strengthen its digital post-harvest services and market linkages platform.
As part of this Series B exercise, Quona Capital principal Varun Malhotra will join Arya’s board of directors.
“We believe Arya’s unique approach, providing a full-service digital platform with embedded finance and differentiated efficiencies for small farm holders, will drive the future of farming in India,” Quona co-founder and partner Ganesh Rengaswamy said.
Bengaluru-based investment bank IndigoEdge acted as the exclusive adviser to the transaction.
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 a controlling stake at Arya, Rao was the head of farm commodity finance at ICICI Bank while Anand was previously ICICI’s national product head for agricultural commodity finance.
Quona Capital says it makes financial-technology-based bets that advance inclusion, with a focus on emerging markets. It also has a tie-up with non-profit organisation Accion, which it was a part of before becoming an independent firm in 2015.
In March, Quona Capital marked the final close of its second VC fund – the Accion Quona Inclusion Fund – at $203 million. The vehicle had an initial target corpus of $150 million. Apart from Accion, International Finance Corporation had proposed to contribute $12 million to this fund.
LGT Lightstone Aspada is part of the Switzerland-based LGT Group, which in May split its private banking, alternatives and impact investment businesses into three separate and independent units.
LGT Lightstone Aspada was formed after the Swiss investor acquired Aspada. It has made several investments in the country. In April, for example, it invested $7 million in Akna Medical Pvt. Ltd, which operates a healthcare supply chain.
Before that, in March, it led a $7 million round in SmartCoin Financials Pvt. Ltd, which operates a self-employed worker and small merchant-focussed microlending startup.
Omnivore, meanwhile, 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. It is investing out of its second fund, which marked the final close at $97 million last year.
Some of its recent investments include Animall, a platform that connects cattle buyers and sellers. The startup raised around $6 million in a Sequoia Capital-led Series A round. Omnivore and LetsVenture also participated.
In October, Ominvore took part in a $1 million seed funding round in Krishitantra, a soil-technology platform. Nabventures – anchored by Nabard (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) – also participated.