Agri-tech startup CropIn raises $8 million from Chiratae and other VCs

Agriculture technology startup CropIn Technology Solutions Pvt Ltd has raised INR 58 crores($8 million) in a Series B financing from Chiratae Ventures (formerly IDG Ventures India) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Strategic Investment Fund (London and Seattle).

The financing is expected to scale CropIn’s ‘SmartFarm’ technology platform in India and globally to expand its reach from 3 million acres across 2 million farmers to more than 10 million actively monitored acres across 7 million farmers. With this capital infusion and its increasingly rich data-set, the company will further develop its machine-learning-based ‘SmartRisk ‘ platform to achieve unprecedented levels of plot-level crop detection and yield prediction.

Headquartered in Bengaluru with 180+ customers across 29 countries, CropIn enables businesses in the agriculture-ecosystem to adopt a data-driven approach through its ground-to-cloud technology platform. It thus empowers agribusinesses to ‘grow more with less’, and drive initiatives around Digitization, Traceability, Predictability, Sustainability, and Compliance.

CropIn’s client portfolio includes many large global agribusinesses, banks, government bodies, and development agencies. Through its product platform, CropIn addresses a global market of digital-based agriculture services, which the founders estimate to hit $4.5 billion by 2020.

The company’s initial product, SmartFarm, is a highly customizable mobile app and web interface for farm management deployed across agribusinesses’ own field agents allowing for business-to-business-to-farmer plot-level farm management. Because data is collected and curated by agribusiness employees active at the plot-level and scrubbed for any inconsistencies by CropIn, there is high confidence that the information accurately reflects what is happening on the farm representing ‘ground-truth’ data. CropIn then builds on this data to enhance traceability and monitoring for its agribusiness clients through various software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings.

“To feed the 9.7 billion people in the world in 2050, agriculture efficiency must increase by 35% – 70% and technology is the key. India’s rich mix of farming practices and small landholdings provide a massive data set to inform our models. Further, as a SaaS company, geography has never been a limiting factor for expanding our customer base. We are currently active throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America and in select European markets. As ground-truth information from these geographies continues to fill our data lake, it provides insights that create a paradigm shift in the agriculture ecosystem globally,” says CropIn Founder & CEO Krishna Kumar.

According to Karan Mohla, Executive Director, Chiratae Ventures India Advisors, “We fundamentally believe in the founders’ vision of creating a global agri-tech leader, while partnering with multiple stakeholders including agri-businesses, farming companies, financial lending & insurance companies. The sheer impact of CropIn for their global customers across 29 countries based on the unique data sets captured by the platform is staggering. The potential to revolutionize agriculture leveraging technology and machine learning has never been greater, and we believe Krishna and Kunal will continue to pioneer this industry for years ahead.”

With this investment, CropIn has raised a total funding of $12 million from investors including Singapore-based venture capital firm Beenext.

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