A startup is a company designed to grow fast. Startups quest to create an identity for themselves through a repeatable and scalable business model. These startups co-exist and compete with the traditional business ecosystem. India has more than 1000 startups in the Agritech domain. There are also more than 300 incubation centers to support such startups.
During the pandemic, the traditional ecosystem was struggling as most agriculture mandis remained shut. However, the startups came up with innovative solutions. Pandemic helped catalyze a shift across the agricultural economy, away from traditional, informal, and analog markets towards a more innovative, formal, and digital one. While the customers were confined to homes, startups could take orders through apps, aggregate the demand and arrange supplies to their doorstep. Similarly, they could pay directly to the farmers' account through direct bank transfer (DBT). There were many digital technologies that were silently executed during the Covid pandemic to make the physical flow smooth. The Covid environment did provide a space for the Agri-tech start-ups to grow their farmers' & consumers' bases multi-fold.
The Startups can be grouped into the following major categories:
It is a physical or virtual space where the activity of buying and selling products takes place. The players like NeML, e-NAM, or Market Mirch only provide a platform for the transaction and they are not the transacting parties. They take some user fees as service charges for use of their platform. But there are Startups that operate like a marketplace and are also the transacting parties. Some of them are listed below:
- Started operation in 2015, Ninjacart is a Bangalore-based agriculture supply chain company. It is in the B2B space in the agri-output (fruits & vegetables) business. It links farmers with retailers and institutions such as hotels.
- Started operation in 2015, WayCool is also in B2B space but operates in both Output (fruits & vegetables) Input (fertilizer, nutrients & plant protection) businesses. It offers an agritech platform that uses technology to control the end-to-end supply chain right from farm inputs to last-mile distribution. It helps the farmers to sell their produce through multiple distribution channels.
- Started in 2013, AgroStar offers an online marketplace for farmers to buy agricultural inputs. This agritech startup also helps farmers by providing real-time advice from experts on how to manage their crops and boost their yield.
- Started as Crofarm in 2016, they shifted their business from B2B to B2C. They aggregate their fruits & vegetable demand through their Otipy app from the consumers and businesses. Based on the aggregated demand, supplies are confirmed and then those crops are harvested from the farm and delivered within 12 hours.
2. Farm Management Services:
These startups typically, provide management tools to ease up farm operations through