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AgNext raises $21 mn in largest Series A financing
Monday, 23 August, 2021, 13 : 00 PM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
AgNext Technologies, India’s leading deep-tech agritech start-up, unveiled that it has raised a total of  $21 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Alpha Wave Incubation (AWI), fund, which is backed by DisruptAD and managed by Falcon Edge. Existing investors Omnivore and Kalaari Capital also participated in the Series A round.

This investment marks the largest Series A funding received by an Indian agritech startup to date. It is also AWI’s first investment in India’s booming agritech sector. In this round, it has also delivered a 5X exit to a-IDEA NAARM, India’s first agribusiness incubator, managed by the National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM).

The lack of quality assessment solutions leads to approximately $90 billion in losses globally in agricultural trade. This results in lower profit margins for farmers and higher pricing for consumers. Current quality analysis processes are manual which make them costly and time-consuming with lower accuracy (up to 60%).

It solves the quality analysis problem through its proprietary, in-house technology products. Through a mix of AI, ML, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced data analysis, it provides rapid food quality assessment through its full-stack 'Qualix' platform. By delivering real-time accuracy of up to 99%, it helps to bring trust, speed, and transparency to the agriculture value chain.

It is the only player with a physical as well as chemical analysis solution applicable across a wide basket of commodities including grains, spices, tea, milk, and animal feed. The company has collected over 2 million food samples over the last 4 years across multiple categories, creating a unique and massive AI datasets. It initiated the commercialization of its products earlier this year. With a 100% pilot to paid customer conversion, the company boasts of top-tier clients such as ITC, Godrej, NAFED, among others.

With this new capital infusion, it will now enter newer commodities, strengthen pan-India presence and expand to international markets such as the Middle East, Europe, and South Asia. The funds will also be used for the development of its tech platform Qualix, to enable quality-driven trade transactions across the food value chains. Additionally, the company will also establish a new office in Abu Dhabi for deeper penetration into the targeted markets by diversifying its commodities portfolio and accelerating innovation to make food trade better, fairer, and more secure in the new geographies.

Taranjeet Singh Bhamra, founder and CEO, AgNext, said, “In the era of agriculture 4.0, the demand for better market linkages and secure food trade is driving deeper penetration of technology in agricultural ecosystems. As first movers in the agricultural deep-tech space, we have established market leadership in India through our novel AI-based technologies that assure quality-based food trade across value chains. The deep-tech enabled value created by AgNext for our partners has been instrumental in driving our growth story.”

“Today, we are ready to scale our operations globally and delighted to partner with Alpha Wave Incubation (AWI), to accelerate our research and development initiatives and build a robust international presence. Continued support from Omnivore and Kalaari Capital is further validation of our pioneering technologies, and also asserts their sustained commitment to our vision and growth,” he added.

Anirudh Singh, managing director, Alpha Wave Incubation (AWI) fund, said, “With its unique deep-tech solutions, AgNext is poised to transform the agri value chain at a global scale. We were very impressed by the depth of technological innovation shown by the company in building its AI platform. Further, the quality of clients and traction shown by the company on its commercialization journey is a strong validation of the company's technology product suite. We believe AgNext will be a global leader in the agri-tech space and look forward to working with them.”

Subhadeep Sanyal, partner at Omnivore, said, “Since inception, AgNext has done ground-breaking work in collecting millions of unique data sets for multiple commodities. By focusing initial years on refining their deep-tech solutions, they have been successful in building unique AI-based technologies and delivering exponential value to all stakeholders. We continue to back AgNext in their mission to change the paradigm of rapid quality estimation of commodities and enabling quality based trade across geographies."

Mandar Dandekar, principal, Kalaari Capital, said, “AgNext has built uniquely integrated hardware and SaaS offerings that have transformed procurement operations throughout the value chain. Using deep-tech to build solutions to solve persisting legacy issues in food quality and trade is a monumental task and requires first principles thinking. The passion, perseverance and tenacity shown by Taranjeet, Sparsh, Subrat and rest of the team has been very impressive. We look forward to working closely with AgNext in the growth phase of their journey."

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