Venture Catalysts keeps up the pace with bet on agri-tech startup Humus

By Narinder Kapur

  • 03 Dec 2020
Credit: Pixabay

Humus, an agricultural technology startup focussed on addressing issues in fresh produce supply chains, has raised capital from Venture Catalysts and its accelerator fund 9Unicorns.

We Founders Circle, an angel investment network co-founded by Neeraj Tyagi, who is a managing partner at Venture Catalysts, also invested in Humus, the startup said in a statement.

It did not disclose the amount it has raised.

The Bengaluru-based company, set up last year by Manjunatha TN and Shilpa Gopalaiah, says it aims to create a reliable and cost-effective logistics solution while cutting out middlemen involved in supply chain processes.

Humus says that it directly sources fresh produce from farmers and that it focusses on aspects such as crop inputs and accurate procurement of end products for retailers in Tier-II and Tier-III cities.

Its plans include adopting sustainable practices such as a shift from chemical to natural and organic farming, with a focus on eliminating the price difference between crop yields produced by the two methods.

“Humus aims to provide a full-stack supply chain solution by connecting the stages of production, procurement, processing and marketing of fresh produce,” Venture Catalysts co-founder Apoorva Ranjan Sharma said. “This will not only maintain a consistent and fair market price for both the farmers and the consumers but will also minimize everyday wastage of quality produce.”

Venture Catalysts

The startup incubator and accelerator has been one of the most active early-stage investors this year. It was set up in 2015 by Sharma, Anuj Golecha, Anil Jain and Gaurav Jain.

It invests between $250,000 and $1.5 million in early-stage startups and provides networking opportunities and mentoring to its portfolio companies.

Some of its recent investments include performing arts platform STAGE, insurance-technology startup Ensuredit, AI-based culinary platform Klovechef, beverage brand BrewHouse Tea Brewing Co., and employee service desk platform

In September, its maiden investment vehicle – the 9Unicorns Accelerator Fund – hit its first close at Rs 100 crore (around $13.7 million). At the time, the fund said its investment plan will involve initially offering up to $100,000 for a 5-7% stake in a startup.

It has added several companies to its portfolio since hitting the first close. These include beverage brand Raskik, fitness platform Oga Fit, AI-based content marketing firm Instoried, celebrity engagement startup Gonuts, social gaming platform Tamasha, fertility care firm Janani, and snacks-focussed consumer brand TagZ Foods.

We Founders Circle, meanwhile, says its partners operate from India, the US, China, Canada, and Japan. Earlier on Thursday, VCCircle reported that We Founders Circle had invested in a hyperlocal content startup.

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