Published on 12/12/2019 5:31:16 PM | Source: Live Mint

Agritech startup Ecozen completes $6mn funding from IFA, Omnivore

Posted in Stock Market| #Stock Market

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NEW DELHI : Agritech startup Ecozen on Thursday said that it completed its $6 million Series A fund raise, from Sathguru Catalyser’s Innovation in Food & Agriculture Fund (IFA Fund).

In July 2019, the start-up had raised an undisclosed amount in Series A funding from Caspian and the Hivos-Triodos Fund. Venture capital firm Omnivore also participated in the Series A rounds.

Devendra Gupta, Co-Founder &CEO of Ecozen said: “The funding raised will enable us to expand our product range, production capacity, and enter new geographies."

Pune-based Ecozen was founded by three IIT Kharagpur alumni, Devendra Gupta, Prateek Singhal and Vivek Pandey, with a vision to disrupt the way perishables are handled across the value chain, with clean and innovative technology. The company claims that about 25,000 farmers in India use Ecozen products. Through its innovative “Lease-a-Cold-Room" model, Ecozen is looking at providing cold chain access to farmers across India growing perishable commodities.

Ecozen has three core products that leverage cutting edge technology to empower the agricultural community. These include Ecofrost, a solar powered, portable cold room based on thermal energy storage that enables on-farm cooling and storage of perishable produce, Ecotron a smart controller for irrigation pumps and Eco-Connect, a tech-based platform that connects farmers growing perishables with organized buyers.

The funds will also be used to scale up Eco-Connect exponentially in the coming year. Currently, the platform has 200 buyers and 75 active sellers, added Gupta.

The company is also on track to double its Ecotron business that uses IoT and efficient motor technology to provide a efficient irrigation solution for farmers along with remote monitoring, diagnostics, and predictive analytics.

Commenting on their investment, Vijayaraghavan Kannan, Senior Partner at IFA Fund said: “Ecozen has focused on using technology as a differentiator and has pioneered innovative products addressing market imperfections and catering to under served segments of agriculture and food value chain. Businesses with positive environmental externalities and livelihood impacts fit well with IFA’s investment philosophy."

India currently hosts more than 450 start-ups in the agritech sector, according to a National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) report. As of June 2019, the sector has received more than $248 million funding, a rise of 300% as compared to the previous year.

Earlier this week, Walmart Inc. and Flipkart jointly invested in Ninjacart, a business-to-business (B2B) marketplace for agricultural produce.