Agri-services firm Arya raises $6 mn from Omnivore, LGT Lightstone

Agri-services firm Arya raises $6 mn from Omnivore, LGT Lightstone
Team Arya with Prasanna Rao, CEO (third from right)

Delhi-based Arya Collateral Warehousing Services, which provides post-harvest supply chain services, has raised $6 million in an extended Series A round (pre-series B) from impact investor Omnivore and returning investor LGT Lightstone Aspada.

The company will use the capital to expand storage capacity and increase disbursals in warehouse receipt financing. 

“Arya’s warehousing model profitably serves the agri storage and financing needs of smallholders, farmer producer organisations and corporations in the small rural markets. Omnivore coming on board will strengthen our next-generation work to further improve efficiencies in the post-harvest ecosystem,” Prasanna Rao, co-founder and CEO of Arya, said.

The company plans to raise capital in a Series B round later this year, a company statement said.

In December 2016, LGT Lightstone Aspada had infused $1.9 million in a Series A funding round, as per VCCEdge data. 

Arya Collateral was a part of JM Baxi Group of companies till 2013, after which two ICICI Bank executives Prasanna Rao and Anand Chandra acquired controlling stake in it. Rao headed the agri-commodity finance business at ICICI Bank and Chandra was the national product head for agri commodity finance.

The company provides warehousing services and connects farmers with distributors and other market participants. It claims to manage over 2.5 million metric tonnes of agri commodities in its 1,400 warehouses, with around 75% of the total capacity located in the hinterlands.

Arya Collateral also operates a non-banking finance company (NBFC) Aryadhan, which provides loans against warehouse receipts to farmers, small processors and traders, and farmer organisations. 

Venture capital firm Omnivore, which has offices in Mumbai and New Delhi, invests in companies focused on developing sustainable agricultural and allied food systems in India. Its portfolio companies include cold storage platform Ecozen, business-to-business agricultural commodity platform Bijak, greenhouse-grown fresh produce Clover, horticulture startup Fasal, farmer marketplace DeHaat and quality testing platform AgNext.

While LGT Lightstone Aspada has investment in several sectors, its agri startup portfolio includes supply chain startup WayCool, Lawrencedale, Siddhivinayak Agro Processing, EM3 Agri Services, as per information on its website.    

Arya Collateral operates in the same space as WayCool, Freshboxx Ventures, Agrowave and Ooty-based Lawrencedale Agro Processing India. Last year, WayCool received a commitment of $5.2 million from Dutch impact investment bank FMO.