Smile Group leads pre-Series A funding for Crofarm Agriproducts
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Agri-tech startup Crofarm Agriproducts Pvt. Ltd on Tuesday said it has raised $1 million (Rs 7.5 crore) in its pre-Series A funding round.

The funding was led by Smile Group, said Crofarm in a statement.

Smile Group owns and operates various properties in the consumer and internet media space. Its other investments include photography firm Spyne and gaming startup Zupee.

Crofarm, which was founded in May 2016 by former Grofers executives Varun Khurana and Prashant Jain, recently entered into the business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) space with the launch of its platform Otipy, it said.

Otipy primarily aims to help women to sell fresh produce to their community. It is currently working with over 500 partner resellers, who are mainly women, across Delhi-NCR, and is already serving over 50,000 consumers.

Crofarm started by selling fruit and vegetables directly sourced from farmers. The startup supplies fruit and vegetables to over 5,000-plus retailers through its B2B arm. The produce is sourced from farmers across Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.

The agritech startup had raised $500,000 (Rs 3.5 crore) from a group of high net-worth individuals in January last year in a bridge round.

Its existing investors including Factor[e] Ventures, Pravega Ventures and Ashish Chand of Yukti Securities also put money in that round.

Agri-tech startups

The agri-tech segment has recorded growing interest from strategic players and investors.

Last month, artificial intelligence-focused agricultural technology startup Intello Labs Pvt. Ltd raised Rs 45 crore ($5.9 million) in its Series A funding round led by new investor Saama Capital.

In April, Bijak raised nearly $12 million in its Series A funding round led by Russian venture capital firm RTP Global while DeHaat scooped up $12 million in its Series A round led by Sequoia Capital India.

Clover Ventures Pvt. Ltd, which operates an agricultural-technology firm focused on providing greenhouse-grown fresh produce, snagged $5.5 million in its Series A funding round from Omnivore in February. It also raised Rs 7 crore in venture debt from Alteria Capital in May.

In January, agriculture enterprise resource planning platform FarmERP raised Series A funding from software company TechnoGen IT Services India Pvt. Ltd.

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