Agritech startups were already seen as a sunrise sector and a number of startups in the segment have been getting favourable responses from venture capitalists for fund raising as well. And the efforts at sourcing clean energy need no emphasis. YES Bank has stepped in and launched a dedicated accelerator programme called YES SCALE. The bank has selected 14 startups from these sectors screening over 1000 applications received for participation. These startups will now be put through a 15-month long programme. YES Bank claims it has looked at technologies and models that can be replicated across the country and will have long-term benefits to these sectors.
In the case of agtritech, there have been new developments following application of technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics and blockchain. In the clean air sector, solar and other forms of renewable energy sources that can replace polluting fuels like coal and other conventional sources are the need of the hour and any startup that can work on these areas deserves to be fully supported.
YES Bank claims they are already working on a water cleaning project where 800 railway stations are being supplied with clean water. The significance of this is that no electricity is used in the process of purifying the water and no wastes are created. In the conventional water purifying processes, both these are unavoidable.
To drive the point home, a YES Bank executive claims that for every Rupee spent on such projects, there is a corresponding social value creation of Rs 6.85.
The 14 startups chosen by YES Banks for the YES SCALE project this year are:
Under Agritech- Jivabhumi, Pixuate, RAAV Tech Labs, Lean Agri, FFEM, Krimanshi, Bharat Rohan Airborne System and FarmstoFork Solutions (Cultyvate).
Under Cleantech- DataGlen, Revy Environment Solutions, Synapptra, Fliprobotics and The solar Labs.
Some of the top companies lending their support to the accelerator programme are Schneider Electric, BigBasket, ITC and First Solar.
Startups that successfully complete the programme will be eligible for funding from YES Bank up to $1 million for which the bank has roped in around 15 investment partners, typically VCs.
Yes Scale is the second accelerator program run by the bank. Over the last two years, Yes Bank has run two cohorts of a fintech-focused accelerator as well. For its first cohort, it partnered with T-Hub, Anthill Ventures and LetsTalkPayments in 2017 and its second cohort took place in early 2018 where it picked eight fintech startups for a 15-week accelerator program.