Vegrow, a B2B agritech platform for fruits and vegetables, has raised $13 million in a series A investment round co-led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Elevation Capital. The round also saw participation from existing investors Matrix Partners India, Ankur Capital, Better Capital and Titan Capital.
Established in 2020, Vegrow has scaled rapidly among both farmers and B2B customers, resulting in nearly 20x top-line growth with a presence in over 30 cities, the company said in a statement.
While India’s B2B agri market is attractive ($300 billion), it is also a complex maze of fragmented supply with over 120 million farmers growing across 30 states. Vegrow is on a mission to unlock the power of India’s agri value chain, initially focusing on the $50 billion fruits and and high value vegetables segment.
The company addresses challenges around farmland under-utilization and supply fragmentation for farmers and delivers consistent quality along with fill rate to customers.
Founded by IIT alumni Praneeth Kumar, Shobhit Jain, Mrudhukar Batchu and Kiran Naik, who have developed deep agri expertise as well as a hyper-growth marketplace culture having previously worked across companies such as ITC, Urban Company and Chronus.
“At Vegrow, we focus on select products as compared to building a large basket. Each of these products is a multi-billion dollars’ opportunity. This enables us to go deep in the product value chain and unlock massive growth in this sector. In fact, we have become one of the largest companies for pomegranates in the country in less than a year. We are excited to expand to 100 cities, invest in technology and launch new products with this fund raise,” said the founders of Vegrow.
“Agriculture as a sector has largely remained removed from digital disruptions, despite the strong tailwinds of increasing internet penetration and adoption. We believe any effort to digitize these value chains will have to keep farmers and their interests at the core,” said Akarsh Shrivastava, Vice President, Elevation Capital.
Vaibhav Agrawal, Partner, Lightspeed, added, “Having invested in commerce companies like Pinduoduo, OYO and Zetwerk we have realized that the number one pressing need of the small supplier, a farmer in this case, is higher revenue realization. It’s not accessing inputs, credit or crop advisory. Therefore, we believe companies building marketplaces between farmers and buyers, using technology to eliminate inefficiencies will have the largest market opportunity eventually.”
Ritu Verma, Partner, Ankur Capital, said, “Vegrow's tech-enabled processes allow the company to grow their margins while also driving value to the farmers they work with."
Sudipto Sannigrahi, Vice President, Matrix India, added, “The team has the unique experience and know-how of grassroots agriculture — in fact, a few co-founders come from farming families! — and of building high growth internet marketplaces. We believe they are well-positioned to emerge as the front runners of this space and streamline India’s largest yet unorganised industry.”