Japanese investor Beyond Next Ventures leads $2.2 mn funding round in BigHaat

Japanese investor Beyond Next Ventures leads $2.2 mn funding round in BigHaat
Photo Credit: Thinkstock
11 Aug, 2020

BigHaat Agro, which runs agricultural ecommerce platform BigHaat, said it has raised $2.2 million in a bridge funding round, dubbed a pre-Series A round, led by Tokyo based Beyond Next Ventures. 

Participants in the round included Mumbai based Rockstud Capital Fund, along with returning investors Ankur Capital and undisclosed angel investors, a statement said. The platform last raised an undisclosed amount of seed capital from Ankur Capital in 2016.

The Bengaluru headquartered company said it will use the fresh capital to improve its data and technology offerings, hire across technology and marketing roles, and strengthen its supply chain.

Founded in 2015 by former Honeywell Technologies employees Sateesh Nukala and Sachin Nandwana, BigHaat offers seeds, agro chemicals and agri implements to farmers, nurseries, the Farmer Producer Organisation and other institutional growers. It also provides business intelligence and data analytics to agri inputs manufacturers and direct-to-farmer retail platforms. 

“The traditional agri inputs supply chain is a broken experience, causing financial distress for the farmer. Technology can address this serious problem and transform a farmer’s pre-harvest journey into a profitable one,” co-founder Nukala, also the CEO of BigHaat, said. 

The company retails through a mobile app and the web, and runs a missed call service, while providing feet-on-street sales too. It claims to have served three million farmers since inception. 

“There have been many challenges for farmers in India, such as price instability, supply security and quality of agricultural inputs. BigHaat has looked at these challenges and is using its technology to build and enable the agri-supply chain in India by connecting farmers with quality suppliers,” Tsuyoshi Ito, CEO of Beyond Next Ventures, said.

A recent report by not-for-profit organisation ThinkAg said that there were nearly 600 active agritech startups in India, with the sector witnessing a cumulative capital flow of $1.9 billion between 2010 and 2019. 

In June, Delhi based agritech startup Arya Collateral Warehousing Services raised an undisclosed amount in a debt round from Zurich headquartered firm responsAbility. In the same month, home gardening and hydroponics company Concinnity Agro2o raised its first institutional capital from Mumbai Angels.