The Hindu Business Line

Nass­com: Over 450 agri-tech start-ups re­ceived $248-mil­lion fund­ing in H1

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In­dia cur­rently hosts more than 450 start-ups in the agri-tech seg­ment, and the sec­tor has re­ceived more than $248 mil­lion fund­ing in the first six months this year, IT in­dus­try body Nass­com said on Mon­day.

In a report ti­tled ‘Agritech in In­dia — Emerg­ing Trends in 2019’, Nass­com said that grow­ing at 25 per cent yearon-year, In­dia cur­rently hosts more than 450 star­tups in the agri-tech sec­tor.

“Over the re­cent years, the agri-tech sec­tor in In­dia has wit­nessed some of the global and sec­tor-fo­cused funds di­rectly in­vest­ing in agri-tech start-ups ... As of June 2019, the sec­tor has re­ceived more than $248 mil­lion fund­ing, a mas­sive growth of 300 per cent as com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year,” it said.

In­ter­est­ingly, ev­ery ninth agri-tech start-up in the world is orig­i­nat­ing from In­dia. More than 50 per cent of th­ese start-ups of­fer sup­ply chain solutions such as mar­ket link­age, bet­ter ac­cess to in­puts, etc.

Steadily ad­vanc­ing

“In­dia’s agri­cul­ture sec­tor is ad­vanc­ing steadily to­wards its dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion and the startup ecosys­tem is play­ing a crit­i­cal role here, bring­ing in­no­va­tion and dis­rup­tion in much-needed ar­eas,” Nass­com President De­b­jani Ghosh said.

Adoption of tech­nol­ogy in agri­cul­ture has al­ways needed a struc­tured in­sti­tu­tional fo­cus and tech­nol­ogy firms are try­ing to break into the agri­cul­tural land­scape us­ing newer busi­ness mod­els, she added.

The report said In­dian com­pa­nies are in­creas­ingly look­ing at global mar­kets to ex­pand with fo­cus on re­gions such as South-East Asia, Europe, Africa and South Amer­ica.

Ac­cord­ing to the report, in the last five years more than five global agri-tech com­pa­nies have ven­tured in In­dia, as com­pared to more than 25 In­dian agri-tech start-ups with global pres­ence.

Newer ar­eas

Also, new emerg­ing ar­eas such as mar­ket link­age, dig­i­tal agri­cul­ture, bet­ter ac­cess to in­puts, FaaS (func­tions-as-a-ser­vice) and fi­nanc­ing are at­tract­ing large trac­tion.

Th­ese tech­nol­ogy adop­tions are en­abling numer­ous agri-tech start-ups to bring forth farm­ing-re­lated ad­vanced tech­no­log­i­cal mech­a­nisms to help lo­cal farm­ing be­come a sus­tain­able and profit-yield­ing en­ter­prise, it said.

The report pointed out that mea­sures like set­ting up of mi­cro-funds (rang­ing from $2-14 mil­lion) to spur in­no­va­tion, of­fer­ing sup­port in terms of in­cu­ba­tion, ac­cel­er­a­tion, and cat­alytic fund­ing, open­ing of in­cu­ba­tion cen­tres, etc need to be im­ple­mented.

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