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Srishti Batra and Rubal Chib
qZense founders Srishti Batra and Rubal Chib

Qzense Labs Pvt Ltd, an agri-tech startup focussing on quality control and fresh produce management, has raised Rs 4.5 crore ($613,953) in seed capital.

The round in the Bengaluru-based startup has been led by incubator and accelerator Venture Catalysts, which has been one of the most active homegrown early-stage investors this year.

Other participants in this round include 9Unicorns, the accelerator fund set up by Venture Catalysts, The Chennai Angels, Entrepreneur First, and Lumis Partners.

Qzense was set up last year by Rubal Chib and Srishti Batra. The company says its platform provides an end-to-end internet-of-things (IoT)-based solution that provides quality assessment through a grading process. It also offers clients a web dashboard to offer real-time insights and alerts regarding the produce being scanned.

The company will use the capital it has raised to invest in its expansion by scaling its team and accelerating marketing efforts, Chib said.

The investment marks the latest bet by Venture Catalysts as the year draws to a close. The incubator and accelerator was set up in 2015 by Apoorva Ranjan 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 portfolio companies.

Some of its recent bets include agri-tech firm AgriGator, Noida-based financial technology firm YPay, performing arts platform STAGE, insurance-technology startup Ensuredit, AI-based culinary platform Klovechef, and beverage brand BrewHouse Tea Brewing Co.

Deals in agri-tech 

The segment has seen a number of startups being set up and cheques being written for them.

Earlier this week, farming-focussed Gramopohone raised Rs 25 crore (around $3.4 million) in a round led by Bengaluru-based Siana Capital. Other participants included Info Edge Ventures, Asha Impact, and Better Capital.

Also this month, post-harvest-focussed Arya Collateral Warehousing Services Pvt. Ltd secured $21 million (around Rs 154.67 crore) in a Series B funding round. The exercise was led by Quona Capital and joined by others including LGT Lightstone Aspada and Omnivore.

Other startups in the sector that have raised capital in recent months include Humus (another Venture Catalysts portfolio company), S4S Technologies, BharatAgri and Unnati.

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