Agritech startup, FarmersFZ has raised an undisclosed amount in a seed round of funding from Indian Angel Network and its maiden venture capital fund IAN Fund, Malabar Angels and Native Lead. The investment from IAN was led by its two members Nagaraja Prakasam and PK Gopalakrishnan.
The fresh funding will help the startup to strengthen its position in the existing market. FarmersFZ is also planning to use the newly raised capital to increase geographical reach and strengthening customer acquisition.
The lead investor Nagaraja Prakasam who will also join the company as the board of directors believes that the inefficient supply chain is one of the main reason due to which agriculture is not viable for farmers and merely 30% of what consumer pay goes to them.
“FarmersFZ ‘s unique model encourages farmers to use technology to track and use best practices and rewards them with better prices while consumer gets the complete transparency and traceability, so they know the farmer who is growing their vegetables and fruits, and probably visit them as well thus creating community commerce,” he added.
Founded in 2015 by software-engineer-turned-entrepreneur Pradeep PS, FarmersFZ is a multichannel marketplace, which is aimed at closing down the gap between the rural farmers and urban customers. It is working towards achieving the goal of providing healthy and pesticide-free fruits and vegetables to the users.
“India is the second-largest producer of fruits and vegetables (F&V) in the world after China, and the 300-million-tonne Indian F&V market is estimated at over ₹4 lakh-crore. Moreover, nearly 95 percent of this is in the unorganised general trade, operating through local vegetable vendors and sourcing from traditional mandis and multiple intermediaries,” Pradeep PS, Chief Executive Officer at FarmersFZ, said.
“With the right mix of technology and enabling market access, we believe there is potential to transform the value chain of all fresh-produce crops. Through our platform, we are helping the rural farmers turn profitable and directly reach out their customers,” he added.
At present, the platform has successfully connected nearly 350 profitable farmers with almost 10K customers. The startup’s future plans include increasing the scalability of the business in the next four years by including seven more cities under its geographical reach. It is also aiming to connect nearly 20 Lakh customers with 25K profitable farmers.
Additionally, the company is also working towards developing and creating an algorithm to help farmers predict the income basis, their produce, yield etc. It would also help them in the calculation of profits.