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Sequoia leads Series A funding in agri-tech startup DeHaat
Photo Credit: Team DeHaat

Green Agrevolution Pvt. Ltd, which operates agricultural technology startup DeHaat, said on Tuesday it has raised $12 million (Rs 90.75 crore at current exchange rates) in a Series A funding round.

Sequoia Capital India led the funding round, the Gurugram-based startup said in a statement. Dutch development bank FMO, Omnivore and AgFunder also contributed.

The development comes after VCCircle in February reported that DeHaat was raising around $1.8 million from FMO Ventures Program, the venture capital arm of the Netherlands-based development finance institution.

DeHaat runs an online marketplace for farm products and services. It was founded by IIT-Delhi graduate Shashank Kumar, IIM-Ahmedabad’s Shyam Sundar Singh and NIT-Jamshedpur alumnus Amrendra Singh in 2012.

It will use the Series A funding to automate its supply process and build its data analytics infrastructure to increase the efficiency of the chain. The startup also said that it is aiming to scale up to 2,000 rural retail centres to focus on last-mile delivery and bring a million farmers on board its platform by 2021.

“Sequoia’s deep expertise in B2B platforms and technology products combined with FMO’s expertise in agricultural value chain financing will help DeHaat accelerate its growth while delivering massive impact for the farmers we work with,” Kumar said.

Sequoia Capital India vice president Abhishek Mohan said the venture capital firm was confident in its investment because of DeHaat’s ability to create brand loyalty among its partner farmers and its technological platform.

Investment bank Dexter Capital acted as the adviser to DeHaat on this funding round.

In March last year, DeHaat had raised $4 million (Rs 27.5 crore) in a pre-Series A round from Omnivore and the United States-based AgFunder. In May, DeHaat received Rs 20 crore in venture debt from Trifecta Capital.

In May last year, DeHaat acqui-hired farm management services provider VezaMart. At the time, the agri-tech startup said the move gave it access to new regions, newer farmers’ network in western Uttar Pradesh and a dedicated team with entrepreneurial experience in the agri-tech sector.

Agri-tech deals

DeHaat 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.

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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