Madhya Pradesh-based agritech startup Farmkart, forms a consumer base of farmers through its e-commerce platform, selling a wide range of agriculture goods and services, is eying the opportunity to raise Rs 90 crore in Series A funding from venture capitalists for expansion across the country.
Farmkart’s tech solutions cater to the interests of non-tech savvy farmers providing them with fertilisers, pesticides, fungicides, seeds, farm equipment, among others at their doorsteps with no delivery cost. Besides, farmers can also avail the benefits of modern farm equipment by renting it out from Farmkart’s e-commerce platform. Founder Atul Patidar said the company has tie-ups with top brands, both domestic as well as international, for its e-commerce platform.
The Agri startups UIC (unique identity code) is India’s pioneer to introduce a card with a 9-digit identity, which helps a farmer select a product based on his farm profile. UIC can be recharged with any amount to make online payments. To buy a product, a farmer just needs to punch in this 9-digit code.
This nationwide expansion will encourage the addition of more manpower, for which the company is to recruit from business schools, Patidar said.
“Currently we have 102 people directly working for us. Our expansion will need more than 3,000 additional workforces in marketing, sales, software, business development, agronomics, among others. We will also need on-ground sales professionals who can explain our product offerings to farmers in a simple manner,” he said.
The company also aids college students and villagers with an additional income to deliver goods and services in their own villages. The company is also working to produce a kiosk, which will be like an ATM machine, that will further equip farmers to order products from Farmkart’s e-platform without any difficulties. “The prototype of this kiosk will be ready in two years’ time. When it is ready, we plan to install them across villages pan-India. This will make it easy for farmers to place their orders,” Patidar added.
“At present, we are functioning at 1,240 locations in Madhya Pradesh. We plan to begin our immediate expansion to 8,000 locations in Maharashtra, Gujarat, southern region and reach one lakh (locations) by December 2021, across the country in next one year. Initially, we had invested Rs 15 crore in this venture and are looking to raise Rs 90 crore in Series A funding through venture capitalists,” Farmkart founder Atul Patidar told PTI.
Recently in the series ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also appreciated the efforts of Patidar to digitally connect farmers and deliver farming items to their doorsteps.