INI Farms, a horticulture startup, has secured $1.95 million from Aavishkaar Capital’s ESG First Fund to expand its agriculture output business and reduce food wastage below 2%. The company aims to build a tech-driven global fruit brand called Kimaye and already caters to 35 countries through its direct-to-consumer platform FruitRoute and several other ecommerce channels. INI Farms was founded in 2009 by Pankaj Khandelwal and Purnima Khandelwal with a goal of achieving 100% disintermediation and reducing food wastage caused by supply chain delays. In 2022, the company was acquired by B2B farm input startup Agrostar. The agro-based startup sector in India is growing, with big players such as Ninjacart and startups like Eggoz and CropIn raising significant funding. According to Startup India, almost 70% of Indian households earn from agriculture, which contributes to about 17-18% of the country’s overall GDP.
Shark Tank India has provided a platform for agro-based startups to pitch their ideas to a panel of investors and secure funding for their ventures. Kamlesh Nanasaheb Ghoomre, who is also known as ‘Jugaadu Kamlesh,’ secured funding for his startup on the show, and several other agro-based startups like Carrageen, Cocofit, Tagz Foods, etc., have also received funding from the ‘sharks’ on the show. Such platforms can provide a boost to startups in the agro-based sector, which has seen a significant increase in innovation and investment in recent years.
Indian agro-based startup ecosystem has been growing steadily and has attracted significant investments in recent years. Eggoz, a startup that provides technology-driven solutions for poultry farming, raised $8.8 Mn in December 2021. CropIn, which provides AI and data analytics solutions for the agriculture sector, raised $13.7 Mn from investors such as Google, JSR Corporation, ABC Impact, and Chiratae Ventures. Furthermore, as you mentioned, agriculture is a significant contributor to India’s economy, with almost 70% of Indian households earning from agriculture, and it contributes to about 17-18% of the country’s overall GDP. Given the size and importance of the sector, it is expected that the Indian agro-based startup ecosystem will continue to grow and attract more investments in the coming years.