EM3 Agri Lands $10 m Via this GIF

A roundup of top fund­ing deals of the day from the startup world

The Economic Times - - Disruption: Startups & Tech - Shash­wati.Shankar @times­group.com

Ben­galuru: Agritech startup EM3 Agri has raised $10 mil­lion in a se­ries-B round led by Global In­no­va­tion Fund (GIF) with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of ex­ist­ing in­vestor Soros De­vel­op­ment Fund and As­pada In­vest­ments.

Founded in 2014 by for­mer Air­tel CEO Ro­htash Mal and his son Ad­witiya Mal, EM3 AgriSer­vices wants to change the way farm­ing is done in In­dia by “Uberis­ing” farm ser­vices.

The funds raised will be de­ployed to­wards en­hanc­ing the tech­no­log­i­cal ca­pa­bil­i­ties of its core trans­ac­tion plat­form and ex­pand the com­pany’s foot­print beyond its ex­ist­ing ser­vices in Mad­hya Pradesh. The startup is aim­ing to roll out ser­vices for farm­ers in Ra- jasthan soon. “We have re­cently part­nered with the gov­ern­ment of Ra­jasthan and will also in­vest in build­ing tech­nol­ogy and ex­pand­ing, as well as im­prov­ing our mech­a­ni­sa­tion farm­ing ser­vices across In­dia,” said Ad­witiya Mal, CEO at EM3 AgriSer­vices.

Ac­cord­ing to the com­pany, most of In­dia’s small-hold farm­ers rely on man­ual labour as they can­not af­ford cap­i­tal equip­ment such as farm im­ple­ments, trac­tors and har­vesters, which are among the most com­mon needs of farm­ers. EM3 solves this prob­lem by of­fer­ing an en­tire range of in­ter­ven­tions from soil prepa­ra­tion to har­vest­ing, where farm­ers pay a ser­vice fee cal­cu­lated on a per-hour or per-acre ba­sis.

“Depend­ing on the ser­vices, this could range from ₹ 1,500 per acre to level out land; if the farmer is set­ting up rice nurs­eries, it can go up to ₹ 3,500. The farmer makes a book­ing and we pro­vide them with the ser­vice, these are cheaper than hir­ing man­ual labour,” said Ro­htash Mal, co­founder at EM3 AgriSer­vices. The com­pany has served about 35,000 farm­ers in Mad­hya Pradesh and claims to see a 90% re­peat rate among its ex­ist­ing user base.

Kar­tik Sri­vatsa, manag­ing part­ner at As­pada In­vest­ments, said the com­pany has been able to prove the model of farm­ing as a ser­vice over the last two years.

“The next phase is to rapidly scale the FaaS model, as well as our mo­bile plat­form for small­hold farm­ers to ac­cess ser­vices across the agri­cul­ture value chain, the com­pany’s pro­pri­etary ac­cess to farm level data through its op­er­a­tions places it in a unique po­si­tion,” said Sri­vatsa.

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