Farm-focussed fintech startup Jai Kisan secures seed funding

Farm-focussed fintech startup Jai Kisan secures seed funding
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Mumbai-based Greenizon Agritech Consultancy Pvt. Ltd, which operates Jai Kisan, a lending platform for the farming community, has raised $1.5 million (Rs 10.6 crore) in a seed round of funding led by Blume Ventures.

Other investors who participated in this round include Mumbai-based early-stage tech investment firms Astarc Ventures and Prophetic Ventures, and UK-based investment firm Better Capital, the startup said in a statement.

Harshbeena Zaveri, vice chairman at Mumbai-based roller bearings producer NRB Bearings, and Sanjay Mariwala, managing director at Mumbai-based health and lifestyle services provider OmniActive Health Technologies, also invested in Jai Kisan. A few other wealthy individuals and entrepreneurs also invested, the startup said, but didn’t reveal their identities.

Jai Kisan will use the funds to increase the size of its loan book, tie up with more lending institutions and channel partners, expand into new regions, acquire customers and grow its team.

“Most startups operating in rural India believe in disrupting the status quo. We don’t believe economic and social impact can be achieved by displacing the traditional stakeholders,” said Arjun Ahluwalia, founder and CEO of Jai Kisan.

The startup was founded in September 2017 by Ahluwalia and Adriel Maniego, graduates in business administration. Ahluwalia previously worked as an analyst with Dubai-based PE firm Abraaj Group. Maniego worked as a consultant with companies like Alvarez & Marshal, PwC and EY.

Jai Kisan offers loans to farmers for buying equipment, chemical nutrients, fertilisers, seedlings and seeds. The startup claims it disburses loans at rates of up to 12% a year within a week with minimal paperwork. Jai Kisan is operational in Maharashtra and Karnataka and has more than 25 channel partners on its network.

Recent fintech deals

The fintech sector has received significant investor attention over the past couple of years and this year has been no different. Last month alone saw at least five deals in this segment.

Mumbai-based IndiaIdeas.com Ltd, which operates online payment solutions firm BillDesk, raised $84.85 million (Rs 602.6 crore then ) while online lending platform ZipLoan raised Rs 90 crore ($12.5 million then) in a Series B round.

Online investment platform Smallcase Technologies raised $8 million (around Rs 56 crore then) in a Series A round and Open Financial Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which automates collections and payouts for small businesses, raised $4.6 million (Rs 32.40 crore then) in a Series A round of funding.

Bengaluru-based expense management startup Fyle Technologies Pvt. Ltd raised Rs 30 crore ($4.2 million then) in a Series A funding round led by New York hedge fund and venture-style investor Tiger Global.