Today, FMO announced its partnership with DeHaat, an Indian Agri Tech platform developed by Green Agrevolution. The platform has raised a Series B round led by Sequoia Capital, with INR 130mln (USD 1.7mln) participation of the FMO Ventures Program.
Jaap Reinking, Director Private Equity at FMO: “Increasing economic uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic is a grave concern to all. Especially in these challenging times it is important to continue our support for innovative businesses in emerging markets, and focus on accelerating sustainable development. That is why we are proud to announce our partnership with DeHaat through the FMO Ventures Program. We look forward to supporting this Indian Agri Tech platform with our expertise in agricultural value chain financing and the development of financial services.”
In India, around 70% of farmers are smallholders with just one or two hectares of land to farm. This fragmentation coupled with fragmented supply chains means they often lack access to high-quality seeds, fertilizers and crop protection products leaving them plagued with low productivity. There are also few sales channels for them to sell their crops and with no place to store their produce, they’re forced to sell them when they’re most abundant and at the lowest rates.
DeHaat (i.e. ‘marketplace’ in Hindi) is solving many of these problems by connecting over 190,000 Indian farmers to local DeHaat centers managed by micro-entrepreneurs who are supplying high-quality seed and agrochemicals as well as providing agronomic and market advice to farmers. The platform creates a holistic marketplace, which streamlines the supply chain between the farmers, the input suppliers and the produce buyers. DeHaat provides farmers with access to 3,000 agricultural inputs (seeds, fertilizers and pesticides), combined with AI-based advisory content for major crops delivered via mobile app and call centers. The platform also aggregates corn, wheat, rice, fruits, and vegetables from farmers on the network and directly supplies over 200 commodity bulk buyers, including retail chains, e-commerce players, FMCG giants, and SME food processors. The platform is active in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Odisha, a group of poorest states in India.
Shashank Kumar, Co-Founder & CEO of DeHaat, “We are excited to partner with Sequoia and FMO as we drive towards one million farmers on the DeHaat platform. Sequoia’s deep expertise in B2B platforms and technology products combined with FMO’s expertise in agricultural value chain financing will help DeHaat toaccelerate growth while delivering massive impact for the farmers we work with.”
Reinking: “Next to our financial participation in Green Agrevolution, we will aid the platform through non-financial support on corporate governance, E&S standards, and the development of its financial services. FMO will share its experience with Financial Institutions, Fintech’s and rural development programs.”
The FMO Ventures Program is an initiative of FMO. The EUR 200mln program is supported by contributions from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands as well as by a guarantee from the European Commission. The Program aims to help develop emerging markets by investing in early-stage technology-enabled innovative business models. The Program focuses on direct investments in young start-up and scale-up companies in fintech, energy access and Agri Tech, as well as on indirect (fund) investments in Venture Capital funds, predominantly in Africa and the European neighborhood but the Program also has an allocation for Asia.
|Shashank Kumar, Amrendra Singh, Adarsh Srivastav and Shyam Sundar Singh co-founded DeHaat|