Agri-tech startup Ecozen closes $6 mn Series B funding; raises second tranche from IFA, Omnivore

Agri-tech startup Ecozen closes $6 mn Series B funding; raises second tranche from IFA, Omnivore
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13 Dec, 2019

Pune-based agri-tech startup Ecozen Solutions has closed its Series B funding round at $6 million. The company raised the second tranche of $4 million from IFA Fund (Innovation in Food and Agriculture Fund), which is managed by Sathguru Catalyzer Advisors, and returning investor Omnivore.

Ecozen had received the first part of Series B investment in July this year from impact investors Caspian and Hivos- Triodos Funds.

“This round of investment will enable us to expand our product range, production capacity, and enter new geographies. It will also enable us to leverage the reach of IFA in the domestic and international markets,” Devendra Gupta, co-founder and CEO of Ecozen said in an official statement.

Launched in 2010, the company provides on-farm solar-based cold storage and smart solar irrigation solutions. Its produces portable, solar-powered thermal energy cold-storage units and water pumping technologies under brand names Ecofrost and Ecotron respectively. These products use the internet of things (IoT) capabilities and real-time data to offer smart controlling abilities, intelligent diagnostics systems, remote monitoring and longer batteryless backup options.

Ecozen also operates an online marketplace solution for high-value perishables. The platform connects farmers to organised buyers and resellers and facilitates the transaction of their produce.

Founded by IIT Kharagpur alumni Gupta along with Vivek Pandey and Prateek Singhal, the startup claims to cater to more than 25,000 farmers across India, South East Asia and Africa.

“Ecozen has focused on using technology as a differentiator and has pioneered innovative products addressing market imperfections and catering to underserved segments of agriculture and food value chain. Businesses with positive environmental externalities and livelihood impacts fits well with IFA investment philosophy,” Vijayaraghavan Kannan, senior partner at IFA Fund said.

IFA Fund is an India-focused investment fund sponsored by Sathguru Management Consultants. The Fund invests in the agricultural produce and market-ready food products companies. Sathguru Catalyser Advisors (SCA) is the asset management company of IFA Fund.

Early-stage agri-tech focused investment fund Omnivore had made an investment of $1 million in Ecozen in 2015. The round also included a secondary share sale by social enterprise incubator Villgro, which had invested in the startup’s seed round.

Founded in 2010 by Mark Kahn and Jinesh Shah, Omnivore invests in startups operating in agri-tech, food products and rural sector. Some of its more recent deals include artificial intelligence-powered startup Fasal, online marketplace for farm products and services DeHaat, and agri-analytics startup AgNext. In April this year, Omnivore marked the final close of its second fund at $97 million, overshooting the initial target of $75 million.