Gurugram-based agritech startup Crofarm Agriproducts said on Monday that it has raised $1 million from early stage investor Inflection Point Ventures for its social commerce startup Otipy.
Launched in June 2020, B2B2C platform Otipy connects consumers with farmers through women resellers. The fresh capital, Crofarm said in a statement, will be used to expand its operations in Delhi NCR, strengthen farmer relationships, and improve its technology and warehouse infrastructure.
The new venture, which has a presence in Noida, Ghaziabad and Greater Noida, has achieved a four-fold growth over the three-month period since its launch, the statement said.
“We are super excited to partner with Inflection Point Ventures at this juncture when our business is showing very high consumer stickiness. We have built a very strong community with our partner resellers (mostly women) and have empowered them by providing an alternate source of income especially in these times when other sources have dried up. Also, with the recent changes in APMC our farmer network is growing at a very fast pace,” Crofarm co-founder and CEO Varun Khurana said.
Otipy currently has over 1,000 partner resellers, mainly women, catering to over one lakh consumers. It claims to offer a product catalogue of fresh, hygienic and chemical-free on-demand fruits and vegetables from the farm, at rates that are “usually 25% cheaper than the market”.
The platform uses an artificial intelligence-based demand prediction tool to collect historical data to procure produce, facilitate on-demand harvesting and ensure delivery of fresh produce on the same day. It also uses customer relationship management tools on WhatsApp to interact and serve consumers.
“Otipy is a new concept in India and has gained huge traction so far… We watched the company’s performance closely during lockdown, and more importantly its growth during the un-locking phase, which led to believe in its sustainable value proposition and the vision of transforming the entire farm ecosystem in India,” Vinay Bansal, founder and CEO of Inflection Point Ventures, said.
The deal marks the angel investing platform’s twelfth investment disclosure since March 2020, as per the statement.
Through its B2B business, Crofarm supplies fruits and vegetables, sourced from farmers in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, to over 5,000 retailers.
Founded in 2016 by former Grofers executives Khurana and Prashant Jain, the company also tracks retail-ordering behaviour and predicts demand using machine learning.
The agritech sector has seen an active flow of investments through the first half of 2020, at a time when grocery supply chains were nearly crippled due to rising consumer demand induced by the Covid-19 lockdown.