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With the newly secured funding, the company’s primary focus will be on developing proprietary edge computing drones specifically for precise crop monitoring and variable pesticide application.

BharatRohan, a pioneering agtech firm specialising in drone-based hyperspectral remote sensing, has announced the successful completion of a significant funding round. The company secured 2.3 million USD in a pre-IPO round from notable investors, including Villgro Innovation Foundation, Caspian, RevX, and Venture Garage (with a group of Ultra High Net Worth Individuals as investors), marking a strategic blend of debt and equity financing.

With the newly secured funding, the company’s primary focus will be on developing proprietary edge computing drones specifically for precise crop monitoring and variable pesticide application. These drones will be made available to rural entrepreneurs through franchise-based models, enabling them to offer CropAssure® Services to farmers. Additionally, the company plans to design and develop compact hyperspectral & multispectral sensors for drones.

BharatRohan is poised to expand its operations and offerings in 15 Indian states, covering 10 lakh acres by 2025. It has shown promising growth, increasing revenue 3x and profit by 200 per cent from the last financial year. While continuing to provide its drone-based crop monitoring Decision Support System (DSS), the company also ventured into procuring residue-free farm produce grown through Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices implemented by farmers who utilise its BharatRohan CropAssure® Services. BharatRohan aims to introduce its pesticide residue-free farm produce to global consumers, thereby expanding its reach and impact on a global scale.

This strategy underscores BharatRohan’s dedication towards incentivising farmers to adopt technology-driven, sustainable, and residue-free farming practices. This investment marks a significant milestone in BharatRohan’s journey. “It strengthens our resolve to enhance our services and expand our reach across the nation, ensuring that farming becomes more scientific, sustainable, and profitable,” stated founders Amandeep Panwar and Rishabh Choudhary.

Vivek Kumar, founder at Venture Garage Expressed that “BharatRohan is in a unique position using latest technology to solve one of the oldest problems of continuously optimizing farming and bridge farmers to most profitable markets. Growing at a rapid pace, we at Venture Garage, strongly feel that BharatRohan is on track to not only build a company championing sustainable and scalable agriculture but also deliver great earnings for their investors”.

“BharatRohan is well-positioned to spearhead the transformation of agriculture through cutting edge drone technology, providing sustainable solutions to age-old farming challenges while driving positive change locally and globally. We, at RevX Capital, are happy to understand BharatRohan’s unique working capital gaps and partner to provide customised solutions”, added Sibadittya Baidya, AVP-Investements, RevX Capital.

With the newly secured funding, the company's

The recent raised funds will enable Samunnati to strengthen its business operations and customize its solutions to meet the specific needs of different value chain players.

Samunnati, a leading agri value chain enabler, had an impressive $155 million in funding in the financial year 23-24. Now, setting the stage for the current financial year, Samunnati has begun FY24-25 by securing a $5 million in debt funding through an External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) from Enabling Qapital, a renowned global impact investment advisory firm.

In FY 23-24, Samunnati had made significant strides by securing $155 million in funding, comprising $132 million in debt funding and an additional $23 million in equity funding through the pre-series E round, all accomplished amidst a challenging funding landscape.

The recent strategic investment by Enabling Qapital is poised to propel Samunnati’s vision of revolutionizing the Indian agricultural sector by empowering small and marginal farmers. This infusion of fresh capital will facilitate Samunnati’s expansion efforts, enabling it to reach a broader spectrum of farmers across India while advancing financial inclusion initiatives.

Anil Kumar, Founder and Group CEO at Samunnati, emphasised, “This strategic funding from Enabling Qapital is a testament to the confidence investors have in the role Samunnati plays in bridging the credit gap for smallholder farmers. With these resources, we are well-positioned to empower countless farmers, drive agricultural progress, and contribute to a more prosperous rural India.”

Moreover, in the recent years, Samunnati has emerged as a few companies in this sector, where reputed investors have shown their confidence and have come onboard. During FY23-24, it garnered investments from 13 esteemed lenders, comprising a prestigious roster including USDFC, Credit Saison, Tata Capital, Poonawalla, Hinduja Leyland Finance, Wint wealth, Altifi, Alteria Capital, and Anicut Capital.

The recent raised funds will enable Samunnati to strengthen its business operations and customize its solutions to meet the specific needs of different value chain players. By enabling access to finance, Samunnati empowers farmers to invest in their agricultural activities, thereby improving yields and increasing their income. This not only contributes to the overall growth of the agricultural sector but also fosters rural economic development.

The recent raised funds will enable Samunnati

Latest funding will be used to cater to the growing demand for Ecozen’s innovative products and to further its commitment to climate-smart technology.

Ecozen, a leader in climate-smart technology solutions, announced today that it has raised USD 30 million in a mix of debt and equity. This infusion of capital includes continued support from Nuveen and other existing equity investors, and new debt support from InCred Credit Fund and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) through Ecozen’s exclusive advisor Setuka Partners LLP.

The latest round of funding will be used to cater to the growing demand for Ecozen’s innovative products and to further its commitment to climate-smart technology. The company has grown 5X over the last two years, with profits growing 3X as well. Ecozen anticipates doubling its revenue in the current fiscal year, buoyed by strong demand for existing products and plans to leverage its tech stack of advanced motors and controls, thermal energy storage, AI and IoT to enter new segments undergoing a transition to cleaner energy sources. These solutions will decarbonise sectors like milling, mobility, retail and industry, just as the company’s pumping and cooling solutions did for agriculture. The company is also set to meaningfully expand its offerings and market presence into Africa and Southeast Asia.

“Ecozen is on an accelerated growth path, driven by the increased market demand for our pioneering climate-smart solutions,” said Devendra Gupta, CEO and Co-Founder of Ecozen. “The capital raised will enable us to scale our operations and deepen our market penetration in domestic and international territories. We are committed to empowering customers and expediting the transition to climate-smart technologies on a global scale. I thank our investors, Nuveen and other existing equity investors, for their continued support which will help us cater to the present opportunity. We are also happy to have institutions like the DFC and InCred partner with us in our journey of catalysing climate-smart solutions for agriculture and other key sectors in the future”, said Devendra Gupta, CEO and Co-Founder of Ecozen

 “Supporting companies like Ecozen aligns perfectly with Nuveen’s commitment to invest in businesses that have a profound impact on climate change mitigation and resilience,” said Rekha Unnithan, Managing Director and Head of Private Equity Impact Investing at Nuveen. “Ecozen’s continued growth and innovation exemplify the type of transformative impact we aim to achieve through our investments, paving the way for a sustainable and inclusive low-carbon economy.”

“We like Ecozen’s proven product and execution track record, and the way it has transformed the lives of farmers in India. With the government of India’s push on sustainable, climate friendly initiatives, we feel the company is poised for profitable growth,” said Saurabh Jhalaria, CIO – Alternative Credit Strategies at Incred Alternative Investments. “The opportunity in India and other developing markets is huge and we are excited to partner with Ecozen in its growth journey. The investment ties up well with our fund’s thesis on innovative cleantech solutions that can reach the masses.”

“DFC is pleased to be supporting an innovative and impactful project with Ecozen that aligns with our priorities of investing in climate adaptation solutions and improving agricultural productivity. This is a highly significant transaction that will improve production, reduce food loss, and decrease emissions in India”, said James Polan, DFC’s Vice President of Health & Agribusiness.

Latest funding will be used to cater

SOLASTA Bio and Impetus Ag announced as winners of the Radicle Natural Plant Protection (NPP) Challenge by UPL.

UPL Corporation Ltd. (UPL Corp), a global provider of holistic and sustainable agricultural solutions, and Radicle Growth, a company-building platform investing in early-stage agriculture and food technologies, announced SOLASTA Bio as the winner of ‘the Radicle Natural Plant Protection (NPP) Challenge by UPL’, securing a $1M investment, with the runner-up Impetus Ag, receiving a $750,000 investment. The Challenge sought to identify entrepreneurs advancing natural and biological solutions and saw applications from 237 start-ups.

In addition to the funding, SOLASTA Bio and Impetus Ag will gain access to UPL Corp and Radicle Growth’s expertise and networks to help accelerate their development and growth.

SOLASTA Bio, an ag-biotech company specializing in the next-generation of green insecticides, was selected as the winner for developing nature-inspired, selectively targeted and sustainable peptide insect control products. Shireen Davies, CEO of SOLASTA Bio, said: “We are delighted to have won The Radicle NPP Challenge by UPL. We look forward to accelerating our sustainable insect control solutions towards the global market in a new phase for the company and enhancing this with industry support and global networks provided by UPL Corp and Radicle Growth”.

Impetus Ag, an ag-tech company developing biological insect control solutions with the effectiveness of legacy chemical methods, was selected as the runner-up for creating novel proteins that bind naturally occurring toxins to targeted pests. Dr. Martha Schlicher, CEO of Impetus Ag said: “Being a winner of The Radicle NPP Challenge by UPL is a game changer for Impetus Ag. Investment in parallel with product development resources, expertise, and access to global networks will ensure our products meet industry gold standards and will go a long way in authenticating our pest solutions with grower supply chains critical for product adoption.”

Mike Frank, CEO of UPL Corp., said: “We’re committed to expanding access to sustainable solutions as a route to shaping healthy, productive, and climate-positive food systems. Through this investment and our ongoing support, we’re excited to work with SOLASTA Bio and Impetus Ag to develop their biological innovations and deliver real-world impacts for farmers, food chains, and the planet. Thank you to our winners, finalists, and all of the incredible start-ups that entered this Radicle Challenge.”

Kirk Haney, Managing Partner of Radicle Growth, said: “Congratulations to our winners. We have been so inspired by the biological solutions on display at the Pitch Day Event, and we are deeply proud that the Radicle Challenge continues to serve as a leading platform for driving global deal flow and funding the most impressive technologies across the food value chain.

SOLASTA Bio and Impetus Ag announced as

Funding will utilise for team building, customer support enhancement, and also to enhance marketing, branding and visibility amongst its potential B2B and B2C audiences.

Lucknow-based Urja Sathi, a pioneering, one-stop sustainable energy-tech platform for buying and selling renewable energy solutions in India, has raised seed funding of INR 3.5 million from visionary entrepreneurs-cum-investors Ankitt Jain and Sharlee Jain. The seed investment has been facilitated by Neeraj Kumar Pawar and Ayu Sharma, Co-Founders of Pror in Pvt Ltd. Notably, Urja Sathi’s founder had recently pitched his business idea at the PROR India Wealth Summit. Urja Sathi would utilize the newly acquired seed capital to acquire talent, improve customer support, and to enhance marketing, branding and visibility amongst its potential B2B and B2C audiences.

This marks Urja Sathi’s maiden fundraising round; prior to this, the startup had remained bootstrapped since its inception in 2023. Urja Sathi (www.urjasathi.com) has introduced India’s first-of-its-kind, privately-owned online marketplace portal exclusively dedicated to renewable energy-based, environment-friendly products and services, with an emphasis on solar at the moment. The groundbreaking e-commerce portal, launched in January this year, aims to democratize access to various types of clean energy technologies for today’s end-users, making it simpler, seamless and highly sustainable for both individuals and businesses to embrace solar and other forms of sustainable energy at scale.

Speaking on the fundraise, Anurag Srivastava, Founder, Urja Sathi said, “We are excited to announce our first funding round, and would like to thank our esteemed investors Ankitt Jain and Sharlee Jain for putting their faith in us, and endorsing Urja Sathi’s mission and efforts. This investment marks a significant new chapter in Urja Sathi’s journey, and fuels our long-term vision of bringing all buyers, sellers, and a diverse range of key ecosystem players of the clean energy segment in India under one roof via our platform, and eventually becoming the biggest, most efficient and credible marketplace in India catering to renewable energy. Through the Urja Sathi marketplace portal and upcoming app, we are committed to streamlining the adoption of solar and clean energy for both residential and commercial customers in India. This in turn shall be instrumental in elevating the entire industry to new heights and aiding India’s sustainability goals in terms of becoming global clean energy leader by the end of this decade and moving towards Net Zero by 2070”.

Ankit Jain and Sharlee Jain, Co-Founders of Paper Arizona, and investors at Urja Sathi commented, “Harnessing renewables and solar for meeting our country’s energy needs and improving energy security have never been more important; and Urja Sathi, with its focus on marketplace, technology, and solar, is poised to positively transform and revolutionize the clean energy business in India. We were impressed by Anurag and his team’s vision and dedication to make sustainable and clean energy more accessible, profitable and efficient for everyone, and therefore decided to back Urja Sathi in fast-tracking their growth journey.”

Saurabh Jain, Co-Founder, FSV Capital, and advisor & mentor at Urja Sathi added, “In the present-day era defined by eco-consciousness and technological advancements, Urja Sathi is fostering the best of both ideals, and gaining rapid traction in India’s emerging yet highly potent solar business landscape. Their steadfast commitment towards sustainability and innovation is commendable, and I am confident of their ability to catalyse the green energy ecosystem”.

Funding will utilise for team building, customer

The infusion of new capital will advance the company’s mission to combat weed resistance through its breakthrough green solution.

Israel based Ag-tech start-up WeedOUT, Ltd., announced that it has secured USD8.1 million in A-round funding. Leading the round is Fulcrum Global Capital, a prominent US agri- focused VC with ties to a vast network of farmers across the US. The infusion of new capital will advance the company’s mission to combat weed resistance through its breakthrough green solution.

Other participants in the equity round include Bunge Ventures, the investment arm of the leading agriculture and food company Bunge (NYSE: BG), and the Singapore Headquartered agrifood tech fund Clay Capital (formerly VisVires New Protein, VVNP). The new funding is in addition to several grants received by the company from the Israeli Innovation Authority.

WeedOUT’s solution could solve one of the greatest threats to agriculture and food security: herbicide-resistant weeds. The company created a novel and environmentally conscious approach to significantly curbing proliferation of weeds that no longer respond to commonly used chemical herbicides.

“Resistant weeds that plague crops are a major challenge for farmers globally—and the situation has only worsened,” asserts Kevin Lockett, partner at Fulcrum Global Capital. “Fulcrum Global is excited to support WeedOUT’s cutting-edge biological platform and the unique approach it has pioneered to address the resistant weed problem. The company’s integrated management approach aligns seamlessly with existing farm practices and could enable growers worldwide to produce more food on the same amount of land and in a much more sustainable way.”

WeedOUT’s first target

“Weeds are highly competitive, aggressive plants,” explains Efrat Lidor Nili, PhD, co-founder and co-CEO of WeedOUT. “They compete with crops for all essential resources, including soil, water, nutrients—and even sunlight. Weeds substantially reduce crop yield.”

The company’s first target is the Palmer amaranth weed (Amaranthus palmeri), a major nuisance in the United States, Brazil, and Argentina. The weed can grow up to several meters high and invade fields of corn, cotton, soybeans, and sugar beets. It can crash corn crop yield by 90 per cent and soybean yield by 80 per cent. “Our green solution specifically targets this type of resistant weed,” notes Lidor Nili.

The prolonged use of chemical herbicides, such as glyphosate, has enabled the destructive weeds to develop multiple resistance. Nicknamed “super weeds,” the traditional method for countering them has been chemical herbicides.

“Evolution is always smarter,” adds Lidor Nili. “The weeds learn ways to evade the effects of the herbicides. But WeedOUT is applying an entirely new, green approach that targets the reproductive system of resistant weeds and will provide a sustainable, long-term solution.”

Novel approach

WeedOUT’s novel method takes inspiration from sterility techniques used successfully since the 1940s for controlling populations of unwanted insects, such as mosquitoes and flies. It centers on a proprietary weed pollen derived from the male plants. This sterile pollen fertilizes the female weed ovules, yielding nonviable seeds and effectively impeding the growth of a new generation of resistant weeds.

Since the introduction of the sterility technique 80 years ago, the realm of insect control has not encountered any resistance issues, and it is considered one of the safest methods ever developed. WeedOUT is the first to apply this time-tested method to weed control.

WeedOUT’s founders conducted the initial experiments in their own home balconies with instant success. Armed with compelling proof of concept and crucial seed funds, they proceeded to local field trials before scaling up efforts in more extensive trials across the U.S. covering cotton, soybean, and sugar beet fields. These trials are being conducted in conjunction with key opinion leaders in weed control.

Funds raised in this investment round are being channelled to further expand field trials in multiple regions in the U.S., including Georgia and Nebraska, as WeedOUT moves to launch its inaugural product targeting the Palmer amaranth weed. The company recently submitted a request to the Environmental Protection Agency for marketing approval and is developing new formulations targeting different weed species.

The infusion of new capital will advance

The funds will be utilised to further expand the startup’s reach, enabling it to empower more farmers with its innovative technology solutions like Nutrition Calculator.

eFeed, a pioneering startup revolutionizing precision animal management & feed practices and empowering farmers across the country, has announced a significant milestone with the acquisition of a grant amounting to Rs 25 Lakhs from Indian Council of Agriculture Research, Gov of India. The grant ceremony took place at the ICAR campus in Delhi and witnessed the participation of eminent leaders from ICAR, including joint directors. Founded in December 2020 by Kumar Ranjan, eFeed has swiftly risen to prominence by focusing on the crucial intersection of animal nutrition, animal health, environmental sustainability, and economic development of the cattle industry. The startup is dedicated to highlighting the pivotal role of a nutritional diet in the growth of domesticated animals, with a primary focus on cattle. E-Feed aims to empower farmers with cost-effective solutions specifically tailored to enhance the well-being and productivity of cattle.

As part of eFeed’s commitment to sustainable livestock, the startup actively addresses methane emissions by promoting balanced ration (TMR) & localised feed formulations and implementing practices that contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the livestock sector.

Kumar Ranjan, Founder and CEO of eFeed, expressed his enthusiasm about the grant, stating, “This grant from ICAR Pusa is a testament to the impactful work we have been doing at eFeed. It is a recognition of our commitment to enhancing the overall well-being of animals, farmers, and the environment. We are excited about the possibilities this grant opens up for us to reach more farmers with our technology solutions and demonstrate tangible increases in milk output.”

The grant, awarded by the prestigious Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Pusa, is a significant boost to eFeed’s growth plans. The funds will be utilised to further expand the startup’s reach, enabling it to empower more farmers with its innovative technology solutions like Nutrition Calculator. eFeed aims to demonstrate a substantial impact on the increase in milk output, thereby contributing to the overall productivity and sustainability of the livestock and dairy sector.

eFeed’s unique approach involves not only providing farmers with advanced technology solutions but also imparting crucial knowledge about localized animal nutrition. The startup conducts training programs to educate farmers about the dietary requirements of different animal species, organic feed processing, and the preparation of feed using readily available resources at home.

Since its inception, eFeed has rapidly gained traction, collaborating with over 1.2 lakh farmers across the country. The startup’s commitment to empowering farmers with the right techniques and practices for animal feed production has garnered widespread acclaim.

In addition to its focus on animal nutrition, eFeed emphasizes the integration of sustainable animal culture with the food security value chain. This holistic approach aligns with the broader goal of ensuring a secure and sustainable food supply for the growing population.

eFeed’s collaboration with ICAR Pusa marks a significant step forward in its journey to make a lasting impact on agriculture, animal welfare, and food security. The startup remains dedicated to its mission of transforming the lives of farmers and contributing to a healthier and more sustainable future.

The funds will be utilised to further

The startup is building a B2B insurance distribution and servicing platform for institutions working with the underserved, including NBFCs, MFIs, BC networks, Nidhi companies, cooperatives, NGOs, and FPOs.

Finhaat, an insurance platform for India’s emerging segments, announced today that it has raised USD 3 million in Seed funding. Omnivore led the round with participation from Kettleborough VC. Through its proprietary distribution infrastructure, the startup provides digital insurance services to underserved groups, including rural communities and middle and low-income populations in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.

Finhaat began operations in June 2022 with insurance as their first product vertical. The startup is building a B2B insurance distribution and servicing platform for institutions working with the underserved, including NBFCs, MFIs, BC networks, Nidhi companies, cooperatives, NGOs, and FPOs. With its tech-driven approach, Finhaat has created a suite of unique APIs custom-built for the target segments for instant policy issuance and seamless end-to-end claims process to democratize insurance and reach more customers. Furthermore, Finhaat’s SaaS-based digital platform provides partner institutions with ease of implementation and customer servicing.

Based out of Mumbai, Finhaat was founded in 2021 by Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) graduates and financial services veterans Sandeep Katiyar, Navneet Shrivastava and Vinod Singh. Sandeep began his career at ICICI Bank and later served as Chief Financial Officer at Arya Collateral. He also has an executive MBA from Harvard Business School. Navneet brings over two decades of experience with insurance giants, including Birla Sun Life, Future Generali and Aditya Birla Health. As for Vinod, he managed various banking verticals at HSBC, where he also established their NBFC arm before heading wealth lending at Avendus.

Vinod Singh, Co-founder of Finhaat, commented, “We are happy to have Omnivore’s support in our journey. The firm’s support validates our commitment to using technology to increase access and efficiency of essential financial services for rural India. Our operations already cover over 65 percent of pin codes in India. With this round, we hope to expand further by building robust technological models, enriching product experience, introducing innovative products, enhancing our partner base and hiring resources for new verticals. We are determined to transform the financial services space for the underserved.”

Jinesh Shah, Managing Partner at Omnivore, observed, “Financial inclusion remains dismally low in rural India – just 11.5% of households have net savings, and under 10% have life insurance. This vulnerability is most acute in low-income segments, especially for farmers confronting myriad risks. Yet, tailored products to mitigate uncertainties and boost financial stability and growth are few and far between. Finhaat is transforming this landscape, and we are excited to support its mission of improving financial access and resilience for the millions left behind by formal systems.”

The startup is building a B2B insurance

 Fibmold’s entry promises to ignite the growth of the moulded fiber packaging industry in India.

Fibmold, a startup focused on sustainable packaging, has raised a $10 million round led by Omnivore and Accel. Fibmold is developing eco-friendly, molded fiber packaging products that mimic the functionality of rigid plastics. These products are manufactured from natural fibers, including bamboo, bagasse, husk, wheat straw, or even wastepaper depending on the end-use, and they are 100 per cent recyclable & naturally compostable.

With only 9 per cent of plastic waste globally being recycled, and the majority mismanaged or left unprocessed, the environmental challenges are substantial. Fibmold’s sustainable packaging solutions will enable various industries to shift away from single-use plastics. China currently dominates the production and export of advanced molded fiber packaging, whereas the market in India is just beginning to take shape. However, Fibmold’s entry promises to ignite the growth of the moulded fiber packaging industry in India.

Founded in October 2022 by Param Gandhi and Vaibhav Garg, Fibmold is the brainchild of two serial entrepreneurs boasting a collective experience of over two decades in the packaging and manufacturing industry. Their partnership dates back to 2012, when they ventured into the food service packaging industry with ValPack. The startup was subsequently acquired by Huhtamaki, a global packaging industry leader.

Param Gandhi said, “The sustainable packaging industry is a $300 billion opportunity. At Fibmold, we aim to assist brands globally in transitioning to eco-friendly packaging alternatives and ultimately eliminate their reliance on single-use plastics.” Vaibhav Garg added, “We truly believe molded fiber is a viable replacement to plastic because of its performance parity, cost competitiveness and speed to market.”

Reihem Roy, Partner at Omnivore, stated, “Fibmold’s unwavering dedication to environmental responsibility, coupled with its founders’ extensive experience and achievements, positions the company as a frontrunner in the sustainable materials industry. This is our second investment from our third fund, and we remain committed to catalyzing climate-smart solutions.”

Prashanth Prakash, Partner at Accel observed, “By harnessing India’s abundance of agricultural by-products in the future, Fibmold presents a tremendous business opportunity. Through advanced technology and scientific innovation, the startup is not only strengthening the Indian economy but also forging India as a global leader in sustainable packaging solutions”.

 Fibmold's entry promises to ignite the growth

The funds will be used to scale up BharatAgri’s e-commerce platform to cater to new geographies and strengthen its last-mile delivery.

BharatAgri, an advisory-led e-commerce platform for farmers, announced that the company has raised Series A funding of Rs 35 crore ($4.3 million) led by Arkam Ventures, an early-stage venture fund dedicated to ‘Middle-India’ startups. The round also saw participation from Capria Ventures, and the existing investors, India Quotient, 021 Capital, and Omnivore.

The funds will be used to scale up BharatAgri’s e-commerce platform to cater to new geographies and strengthen its last-mile delivery. Rahul Chandra, Managing Director of Arkam Ventures, will join the board of BharatAgri.

Founded by IIT-Madras alumni Siddharth Dialani and Sai Gole, BharatAgri uses smart farming advisory to help farmers identify and order the best input specific to their needs. The company has built prediction algorithms that provide advisory customised to crops, region and climatic changes. BharatAgri’s e-commerce platform offers 10,000-plus agricultural products such as fertilisers, seeds, pesticides, insecticides, and farming equipment, among others, and is delivered pan-India across 20,000-plus pin codes.

Dialani said, “In the next three years, 50 million-plus farmers will use the internet for the first time, and we want BharatAgri to be their bridge to the digital era of agri that is now dawning. With 10 lakh-plus unique monthly users, 10,000-plus SKUs, 100-plus marketplace partners, and 20,000-plus serviceable pin codes, BharatAgri is making a significant impact on farmers’ lives. With this investment, BharatAgri aims to further strengthen its rural supply chain, expand the user base and become the largest and the de facto e-commerce platform for farmers.”

 BharatAgri has conducted extensive weather experiments for four years at ICAR, Hyderabad, and collected parameters to build the prediction algorithm to offer personalised and dynamic crop calendars for farmers, satellite-based monitoring, and soil and water testing services, mentioned the company in statement.

Rahul Chandra, MD of Arkam Ventures, said “Agri inputs is a $44-billion market in India and suffers from stockouts, misinformation and non-scientific usage. The Indian farmer is now seeking digital information and concerned with farm yields, crop as well as personal safety and household wealth”

Chandra also added that the rural infrastructure in India is rapidly modernising with the last mile touching more and more villages, and farmers are increasingly trusting digital knowledge sources. The credible advice from BharatAgri helps bridge the trust deficit that accompanies input purchasing and promises to open a digital channel for thousands of new products and brands that farmers seek to buy.

The funds will be used to scale

Company plans to enable 10,000 farmer loans and 400 enterprise loans in the next one year.

Agri-fintech start-up KiVi, operated by Agrosperity Tech Solutions Pvt Ltd, has announced that it has raised Rs 15 crore in a seed round from investors led by Caspian Leap for Agriculture Fund, Piper Serica Angel Fund, YAN Angel Fund, Impact Innovators and Entrepreneurs Foundation, among others.

The IIT-Madras Research Park incubated firm, which started in April 2022, plans to utilise the fund to build an AUM of Rs 70 crore over the next 12 months, up from a little over Rs 5 crore now. It is also planning to obtain an NBFC license, a move that may help it forge co-lending pacts with banks and other lenders. It plans to enable 10,000 farmer loans and 400 enterprise loans in the next one year.

The start-up has already onboarded about 3,700 farmers from Tamil Nadu and Bihar and enabled disbursements of Rs 6.5 crore worth of loans to more than 2,000 farmers. The company has five lending partners, including Federal Bank, EASF Small Finance Bank, and Samunnati.

The start-up was established to serve the farmgate ecosystem comprising farmer households and agri entrepreneurs such as input retailers, output aggregators, farmer producer organisations, and equipment renters. KiVi connects suppliers and consumers of capital suppliers, and buyers of agri commodities.

“While the farmgate ecosystem presents a huge market opportunity for credit and commerce, it has been under-served by the formal markets due to a lack of solutions that serve the needs of the stakeholders,” Joby CO, Founder & CEO of KiVi, said.

“Microfinance loans are not suitable for farmers and agri entrepreneurs, while farmers and agri entrepreneurs did not have market linkage services to effectively sell their output at the farmgate. On the supply side, financial institutions are keen to lend to the agri sector but do not have the capability to lend to the sector. KiVi platform is addressing these gaps,” he added.

Supported by its last mile capability, KiVi takes into account seasonal cash flows, the absence of formal income proof and land ownership proof, and fragmented landholding to design loan and repayment solutions for rural farmers and agri entrepreneurs.

Company plans to enable 10,000 farmer loans

The program is focused on the Indo Gangetic region of India, which grows rice for over a half a billion people.

BioLumic™, an agricultural biotech startup, announced grant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to use the company’s proprietary ultraviolet (UV) light seed treatment technology to enhance the crop performance of rice – specifically Direct Dry Seeded Rice (DDSR), rice grown using sustainable practices.

Rice stands as a vital staple crop for more than half of the world’s population, primarily grown by smallholder farms. In India, a nation accounting for nearly one-fourth of global rice production, water-intensive flooded rice cultivation presents an increasing environmental and economic burden, contributing to groundwater depletion, methane emission, air pollution from straw and residue burning, yield limits and labor unsustainability. The program is focused on the Indo Gangetic region of India, which grows rice for over a half a billion people. The project will begin this year and continue through mid-2026.

Increased transition to DDSR, where rice seeds are planted directly into the soil rather than grown as seedlings and transplanted into flooded fields, would substantially improve the environmental impact and profitability of global rice production.

However, the risk of poor crop establishment, increased weed management and reduced crop performance has jeopardized farmer adoption of DDSR. To solve these challenges, BioLumic’s UV light activation approach will be deployed to rapidly unlock essential plant traits, including uniform and early rice seedling growth, weed competitiveness and drought tolerance. The treatment process takes only minutes to complete and is easily scalable.

″BioLumic’s light treatment technology supercharges rice seeds for DDSR production by activating the plant growth traits that smallholder farmers need to transition away from water-intensive rice cultivation without risking crop failure, ″ said Steve Sibulkin, CEO of BioLumic. ″Thanks to the forward thinking and generous grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, BioLumic can help tip the scales in favor of sustainable rice cultivation with a global impact on food security, climate risk mitigation and subsistence gains for smallholder farmers. ″

Direct Dry Seeded Rice seedlings in BioLumic lab testing productivity gains after treating seeds with UV light exposure. Backed by two decades of scientific research and field validation, BioLumic’s UV Light Signal Recipe™ platform utilizes precisely targeted light spectrum exposure to regulate genetic expression in seeds and young plants without resorting to genetic modification, chemical inputs or time-intensive breeding. BioLumic’s light treatments have demonstrated heightened plant resilience, enriched root growth, enhanced crop quality and the potential for large double-digit yield gains, including reaching yield increases of 15% in corn and 12% in soybeans in U.S. trials.

″Biolumic’s light treatment science is the first of its kind in the world, ″ said Jason Wargent, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer and Founder of BioLumic. ″By giving seeds precise ‘programs’ of light, we can biologically activate processes in plants that can dramatically upregulate crop performance. Through this breakthrough biology, we can instruct plants to be productive in ways that has never been possible before, with the potential for transformative impact on global food production. ″

The program is focused on the Indo

Researchers of International Rice Genebank (IRG) aim to apply a combination of AI and high-throughput phenotyping methodologies to assess the IRG rice collection’s tolerance to abiotic stresses.

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is receiving 2 million USD in grant funding from Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, to harness the power of Artificial intelligence (AI) towards fast-tracking the development and deployment of high-yielding, climate-resilient rice varieties to sustain and increase rice production in the face of climate change.

Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, has set up this competitive grant to harness the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Through this grant, the researchers from IRRI’s Fit-for-Future Genetic Resources unit that steward the International Rice Genebank (IRG) aim to apply a combination of AI and high-throughput phenotyping methodologies to assess the IRG rice collection’s tolerance to abiotic stresses such as flooding, drought, and salinity – making a laborious, costly, and time-consuming process more efficient. This will also promote the enhanced utilization of the genebank’s resources.

“IRRI’s genebank is the world’s largest rice gene bank and holds, in trust, over 132,000 varieties originating from 132 countries. This rich resource is used for breeding to develop new and better rice varieties. At present, only five percent of this resource is used due to limited information on its collections, as we lack appropriate, cost-effective, and high-throughput phenotyping methodologies. AI will undoubtedly unlock the genebank’s full potential in helping address these critical food security challenges,” said IRG Head, Dr. Venuprasad Ramaiah.

Google.org’s AI for the Global Goals Impact Challenge is part of Google’s company-wide commitment to help accelerate progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. IRRI is one of 15 organizations receiving support through the $25 million philanthropy challenge for projects that use AI to accelerate progress towards these goals. Out of many submitted proposals, 15 were selected for funding. Importantly, all of the projects will be open-sourced so other organizations can build upon the work.

“Each of the 15 selected organizations share our vision for using AI to accelerate progress on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and each organization brings their own expertise to help move the needle,” said James Manyika, Google’s SVP of Research, Technology & Society. “We are inspired by the possibilities they see for how AI can be harnessed to help people solve societal problems, and are excited about the collective impact they will have over the next three years.”

Based on projections, the IRRI team foresees economic returns of at least 30 billion USD from the project’s implementation after five years from release. The project also presents an opportunity for the capacity strengthening of national research institutions’ staff, which will bring further long term benefits.

“The project is expected to bring a significant impact on food security and biodiversity conservation while promoting social, nutritional, gender, equity, and entrepreneurship benefits, and building the resilience of rice-growing and consuming countries to climate change. We thank Google for their support in this meaningful initiative,” said IRRI Interim Director General, Dr. Ajay Kohli.

Researchers of International Rice Genebank (IRG) aim

Company plans to utilise the funds for expanding its Agrani platform & Khet Se Kitchen Tak Initiative.

Noida based full-stack agri-tech firm Leads Connect announced that it has raised Rs 500 crores ($62.5 Million) from BL Agro Industries Ltd, a leading FMCG company, with an aim to enhance its agro-tech stack that would provide more value to farmers.

The funding from BL Agro in Leads Connect would be spread over a period of three years leading to controlling stake by India’s leading FMCG firm. Leads Connect specializes in farm analytics and advisory through agri-tech driven data analytics and modelling, crop cutting experiments, risk management, financial services (farmer loans), and procurement from farmers. The funding will be utilised by Leads Connect towards technology advancement, increase reach among farmers, FPO, co-operatives, and expanding the beneficiary farmer base through establishment of AGRANI Centres in various cities, running awareness generation campaigns, mergers & acquisitions, contract farming, and investment in Research for Deep-tech and AI/ML in agriculture as well as to improve quality procurement and supply chain cycle for BL Agro.

Through further development of its AGRANI (Agriculture & Disaster Risk Analytics using Next Intelligence) platform, Leads Connect aims to enhance its Khet Se Kitchen Tak initiative. The Agrani platform is a Space Tech-AI based Multi-Event Real Time Analytics Omni-Channel Platform for Delivering end-to-end Precise, Hyperlocal, Context, & User Driven Agri-FinTech Services.  There are three apps of the Agrani platform – Agrani Kisan app for farmers, Agrani Saathi for agents, VLE (Village Level Entrepreneurs) and employees and Agrani PRO for FPO, Agri Businesses, exporters and trading houses.

Commenting on the investment, Navneet Ravikar, Chairman and Managing Director, Leads Connect Services, said, “Our partnership with BL Agro will help us to expand agri-tech and agri-fintech in the country and bring in more value to Indian farmers.”

Welcoming the association, Ashish Khandelwal, Managing Director, BL Agro said, “We are delighted to announce our strategic investment in Leads Connect aimed at creating a new chapter in the Indian agri-tech industry. Over the next three years, we would be investing Rs.500 crore leading to a controlling stake in Leads Connect. The synergies of BL Agro and Leads Connect will help Indian farmers get more value by improving market linkages.”

Overwhelmed with the response it has received for its Agrani platform, Leads Connect now plans to set up Brick and Mortar Agrani Kendra throughout India bringing the farm advisory, financial services and market linkage to the doorstep of farmers/Agri-businesses. Apart from increasing yield efficiency, Leads Connect offers digitalisation and end-to-end analytics, including Geospatial Intelligence, SpaceTech and Drone as a Service (DrAAS) for precision farming. Leads Connect also plans to introduce the Agrani platform into the dairy value chain soon.

The Khet Se Kitchen Tak is a farm-to-fork solution that is designed to help improve the productivity and sustainability in the agriculture sector. The initiative will see more than 100 FPO enrolling for the project and will benefit around 50000 farmers initially in UP, Haryana, Telangana and Rajasthan, for the crop value chain in the next six months and then roll out pan India.

Company plans to utilise the funds for