Agritech firm Arya raises $21 mn to boost lending, post-harvest services

Agritech firm Arya raises $21 mn to boost lending, post-harvest services
Photo Credit: Pixabay
15 Dec, 2020

Noida headquartered Arya Collateral Warehousing Services, which operates post-harvest agritech and agri-fintech platform Arya, has raised $21 million in a mixed equity and debt round. 

The equity component of the Series B funding round was led by impact investment firm Quona Capital, with participation from returning investors LGT Lightstone Aspada and Omnivore. The debt component saw participation from undisclosed lenders, a statement said. 

As part of the round, Varun Malhotra, principal at Quona Capital, will join Arya’s board, the statement said.

The fresh capital, the statement said, will be used to expand the services of its fintech arm Aryadhan, which offers financing to farmers, and to strengthen its post-harvest services and market linkages platform. 

Excluding the latest round, the company has raised a total of $7.9 million in equity so far, as per VCCEdge data. It last raised funds in June in a debt funding round from Zurich headquartered investment firm responsAbility. In March, impact investor Omnivore and returning investor LGT Lightstone Aspada infused in the company $6 million in a bridge funding round, dubbed a pre-Series B round.

Founded in 1982 as part of the JM Baxi group, Arya was hived off as a separate company with the acquisition of controlling stake in the company by former ICICI Bank executives Prasanna Rao and Anand Chandra. The company onboarded former group product head of ICICI Bank’s rural and inclusive banking group, Chattanathan D, as co-promoter in 2019.

“Of the food grains worth $130 billion produced by India annually, there are huge losses in primary and secondary markets due to lack of storage, forcing farmers to sell off-cycle for lower returns,” Rao, also the CEO of Arya, said in the statement. 

“These same farmers are dependent on financing for their cash flow needs but are vastly underserved, hurting their ability to store and sell their produce optimally. Arya’s digital solution pairs warehousing with financing and critical market linkage services to help smallholder farmers thrive,” he said. 

The company works with  farmers, farmer producer organisations (FPOs), financial institutions, small and medium agri processors, commodity traders and corporate agribusinesses to help farmers with village level commodity storage, financing services and market linkage.

“Arya is addressing a vastly underserved market of farmers in India, half of whom previously had little access to post-harvest finance,” Ganesh Rengaswamy, co-founder of lead investor Quona Capital, said.

Earlier this month, business-to-business agri supply chain provider WayCool raised $7.8 million in a debt round from Samunnati, RBL and Innoven Capital. In October, agritech and financing solutions provider Origo raised $4.73 million from Northern Arc and other investors.