Farm Taaza raises $8 mn for investing in technology

Bengaluru: Emerging e-commerce startup GS Farm Taaza Produce Ltd said on Friday it had raised $8 million (Rs 52 crore) in the first round of funding to invest in scaling its technology platform.

“We have raised $8 million from multiple investors, including Hong Kong-based Epsilon Venture Partners to scale our business by using the fund in our technology platform,” said Farm Taaza Chief Executive Kumar Ramachandran in a statement here.

The city-based B2B enterprise in the fresh produce of fruits and vegetables commenced its operations in August 2015 with an unspecified amount of seed funding from the unnamed angel investors from Silicon Valley.

Tara India Fund IV, managed by IL&FS Investment Managers Ltd, is among the investors participating in the latest funding round.

“We want to enable a seamless supply chain from farm to store and leverage machine learning, artificial intelligence and data analytics for quick decision-making,” said Ramachandran.

With operational centres in Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad and collection centres at Chikkaballaupra in Karnataka and Ooty, Krishnagiri, Olakoor and Mettupalayam in Tamil Nadu, the company plans to make the agro-food ecosystem efficient by using technology.

It has tied up with modern retail, traditional kirana (pop and mom stores) and HoRaCa (hotels, restaurants and catering) for supplying the farm product in the B2C segment through the year.

As the next phase of innovation in the e-commerce segment is in the B2B space, the technology platform will ensure end-to-end efficiency in the fresh produce market, estimated to be $20-billion annually across the country.

The farm produce in the sub-continent is driven by volatile prices and fragmented suppliers, with perishability and quality issues as they are diverse and category specific.

“The digitisation of supply chain with automation, data management, collaborative planning and forecasting, smart sourcing and product tracking will Farm Taaza agile and transparent,” said Epsilon General Partner Mahesh Vaidya in the statement.

About 1,400 farmers in the two southern states are associated with the startup to supply 150 varieties of fruits and vegetables.