Agritech startup FarmLink has raised a funding of Rs 20 crore ($3 million) in its first institutional funding. The investors are both from Switzerland, Pioneering Ventures and Syngenta, as per an Economic Times report. The former is an incubator cum investment firm while the latter is into agrochemicals.
Supply chain management in the agriculture sector has been on the weakest links in the Indian economy. FarmLink is trying to fill this void and focuses on procurement of fruits and vegetables directly from farmers and selling to the large-scale buyers like chains stores, restaurants and processors.
Mumbai-headquartered FarmLink has established centers in Maharashtra, Telangana and Karnataka which manage to collection and distribution of the farm produce. The company currently deals with 700 farmers and hopes to utilize the funds raised to expand geographical base, increase the number of centers and rope in more farmers. The new centers might function in the form of satellite collection centers and the farmers on contract is proposed to be increased to 3000.
The startup was setup in 2014 and following incubation by Pioneering Ventures, the commercial operations began in 2016. Some high-profile clients being serviced by FarmLink include Star Bazaar and Vista Processed Foods. The latter services McDonalds, apart from many leading hyper and supermarket chains.
On the technology front, FarmLink has evolved a program called FarmTrace which helps trace farm produce through its journey from the farm till it reaches the customer. The customer is able to keep a track of their order and delivery through this program and provides a transparent ecosystem within the business. Some of the multinational firms insist on these details being made available in order to be on the right side of law governing ethical business practices. FarmTrace is expected to go live by the end of the next year.
FarmLink has ambitious plans to take a quantum leap in its business by 4 to 5 times its current levels by the end financial year 2019.