Not only is India a land of e-commerce giants, but also a country where farmers can now buy tractors via m-commerce! A mobile–first nation India is seeing many first in tech innovations. AgroStar, one of its kind m-commerce platform, enables farmers to procure an entire range of agricultural goods by simply giving a missed call on the company’s 1800 number.
IDG Ventures India leads USD 4 million round in AgroStar (www.agrostar.in), a m-commerce company that sells agricultural inputs directly to farmers. Existing investor Aavishkaar also participated in this round. The company also counts Snapdeal’s Kunal Bhal and Rohit Bansal as its early backers and mentors.
The company is co-founded by Sitanshu Sheth & Shardul Sheth both promoters having extensive experience across domains like consulting and retail.
Assurance of good quality products, fair pricing, product availability, laser focus on customer service and delivery at the farmer’s doorsteps ensures that the farmers get hooked on to the AgroStar platform. The company has partnered with multiple leading national and multinational brands whose agro products can be bought through AgroStar. Farmers can buy seeds, nutrients, crop protection, as well as hardware products from the AgroStar platform.
With this funding the company plans to expand operations from Gujarat and Maharashtra to 3-4 additional states over the next 12 months and strengthen its tech and leadership teams. Among the first companies to bring m-commerce to rural India, AgroStar gets farmers to experience the urban way of shopping through their mobile phones. The company is one of the first in extensively utilizing data in this space to better understand their target customer and develop offering tailored to the farmers’ requirements.
Commenting on the investment T C Meenakshisundaram, Founder & Managing Director, IDG Ventures India said, “It is just the beginning of what an agricultural m-commerce platform can achieve, in a mobile-first nation. Their success in Gujarat is a testimony and validity of the idea, and we look forward to AgroStar replicating this change nationally. Having funded many vertical e-commerce leaders in early stage we believe AgroStar has the potential to be the disruptor and the leader in the Agricultural m-commerce vertical with a $ 200 billion market opportunity.”
Vineet Rai, Founder and CEO of Aavishkaar, said, “AgroStar is one of the most disruptive new innovations, led by young entrepreneurs driven to bring about a paradigm shift to how farmers engage with the new economy on their own terms”.
Shardul Sheth, CEO & Co Founder, AgroStar said, “Farmers in rural India face significant challenges at every point from buying agri-inputs to selling their produce. Our m-commerce platform is attempting to enhance and simplify the agri-business experience for farmers. We are fortunate to partner with and leverage the deep experience of investors like IDG Ventures and Aavishkaar on this endeavor.”