Aibono Smart Farming, which owns and operates an eponymous online food and farming platform, on Friday said that it has raised $2 million in an extended bridge funding round, dubbed a pre-Series A round, from venture capital firms.
Tokyo-based Rebright Partners, Singapore-based Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Venture Capital and Zurich-based impact investor Lesing Artha, a subsidiary of Rianta Capital, backed the startup in this round, a statement said.
The Bengaluru-based company will use the fresh funds to scale capacity and increase supply to kirana businesses, expand to institutional retail as well as enable a direct-to-home supply of super perishables via delivery platforms such as Swiggy, Dunzo and Amazon, founder Vivek Rajkumar said.
The startup said it also looks to use a part of the funds to onboard over 2,000 small farmers, and 2,000 standalone retailers on its platform and enter modern retail and direct-to-consumer via internet-based food delivery platforms by end of 2020.
In December last year, the company raised $2.81 million in an earlier tranche of the same round from venture capital firm Innoven Capital, as per VCCEdge data. In March, it raised $2.5 million in the same round, led by social impact investor Menterra Venture Advisors.
In 2015, Aibono secured an undisclosed amount in a seed funding round from StartupXseed Ventures-managed Aaruha Technology Fund and a clutch of angel investors, according to VCCEdge.
The startup looks to raise $5 million in the next funding round, the statement said.
“We are encouraged and excited that investor attention is on full-stack solutions starting from seed up to the point of consumption of fresh perishables as high potential businesses,” Rajkumar, also the CEO of Aibono, said.
Founded in 2014, Aibono leverages artificial intelligence to provide agricultural solutions. It offers information on precision agriculture, supply, resources and asset sharing, and farm data management.
Aibono claims to have helped farmers from the Nilgiris and surrounding villages earn better with the help of its AI-powered full-stack farm services and demand-supply syncing technology. It said it has enabled over 1,000 farmers to supply produce to 110 postal codes, while catering to more than 800 retailers.
“With many businesses reeling under the impact of losses compounded during the pandemic, Aibono has demonstrated its core value in protecting the small farmer against losses, adding meaningful value to farmer livelihoods via farm services and the assured sale of super perishables during this economic downturn,” Audrey Selian, director of investor Lesing Artha, said.