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Startup Newsletter - Feb'24

Updated: Apr 1

In this issue:

 

Opportunities for India Agritech

  • The Agriculture & Allied sectors, which is the largest employer of workforce in India, registered a growth of 4% in FY23.

  • The fact that the sector employs nearly half of the country’s workforce but contributes to less than 1/5th of the overall GVA indicates that there’s tremendous opportunity for improvement in efficiency of agricultural activities.

  • Other factors like rising demand for healthier food, changing climate conditions, water shortage and massive wastage of food post harvest, together necessitate the adoption of AgriTech in the country.

  • As internet & smartphones penetrate and reach every part of rural India and more credit flows to farmers, in the next decade a complete transformation of agricultural activities can be expected with the help of AgriTech solutions.

 

India Agritech Podcast – Ep.1 with founder of MiklensBio

The success of Agritech is critical for India. That’s because the Agriculture sector of India is a source of livelihood for more than 50% of the Indian population and contributes over 15% to the GDP of the country. But the Agri scene is not all sunshine and monsoons. We’re talking reducing productivity, weather tantrums, chemical overload, and a market more fragmented than a broken papad. So, we decided to dive headfirst into India’s Agritech value chain to break down – what startup founders have been creating and how it’s impacting Indian farmers, and of course to get more people talking about it.


In this episode we speak with Santosh Nair, the founder of a Bengaluru based Agritech startup MiklensBio...

 

Value Chain analysis of Indian Agriculture Industry

The whole value chain can be divided in 5 segments viz. Production, Processing, Market, Supply Chain and Financing. Let's break down each of these segments one by one:

  1. Production - This segment majorly comprise of the following stakeholders:

  2. Farmers

  3. Suppliers of Inputs - Seeds, Crop Protection, Fertilizers and Nutrients (manufacturers, dealers, wholesalers, retailers)

  4. Agronomy Experts

  5. Equipment Manufacturers

  6. Farm Labour

  7. Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs)

 

Products & Startups revolutionizing Indian Farms

The Indian Agritech sector is growing at a very fast pace, with Precision Agriculture sub-sector being one of the hottest space, from the perspective of startup innovation and activities as well as attention from investors. Precision Agriculture refers to the use of geospatial and weather data, IoT (Internet of Things), sensors, robotics, drones and more to improve productivity, create data-driven farm management solutions and improve resource management. This sub-sector directly impacts Indian farmers by saving time and resources, reducing environmental impact, reducing costs, increasing quality of output, increasing efficiency of farming activities and ultimately increasing income.

Here are some innovations and startups that are revolutionizing Indian Farms:

 

Around the world in a blink – India Agritech vs ROW

India has one of the highest arable land under agriculture (156 Million Hectares) and yet the GDP from Agriculture is abysmally low compared to other major economies. Major reasons behind this is low farm productivity, highly fragmented market, small size of farms and huge post-harvest losses. Here's a comparison of India with major agricultural nations viz. USA, Brazil, China and others, in following areas:

  1. Arable land under agriculture

  2. Average farm size

  3. GDP from Agriculture (2022/FY22-23)

  4. Number of Agritech Unicorns as of Jan'24

  5. Top regions by funding in 2022

  6. AgriTech funding by segment in 2022

 

Startup Indian’s India Agritech Research Report 2024


At Startup Indian, we conduct in-depth research on the startup ecosystem of India. As part of our current efforts, we have compiled a deeply researched report on the State of Agritech in India. The report covers:

  • Key statistics on Indian agriculture sector

  • Major problems in the sector

  • Value chain analysis

  • Market size analysis of each node of value chain

  • Key statistics on Agritech sector – avg. round size, dilution across rounds, multiples.

  • Key AgriTech sub-sectors and their fundraising trends

  • Growth drivers for each sub-sector

  • Fundraising trends across sub-sectors

  • Portfolio analysis of select investors

  • Case studies of select Indian Agritech startups, including business model canvas

  • Major government policies and macro-economic headwinds

  • Global scenario

So, if you’re running an Agritech Startup or looking to start 1 or investing in this space, this report will give you a thorough idea of the opportunity in hand and possible white spaces to capitalize on. To access the report, drop your details here and we’ll get talking.

 

Recent Stake Grabs in Indian Startups

 

What else is Buzzing?

  • Byju’s vs. Byju 🤜🏼🤛🏼 Just when we thought that it couldn’t get worse for Byju’s, we hear more bad news. Latest troubles: Btw, we did a deep dive on What went wrong with Byju’s. Follow the link, in case you missed it.

    • The Investors of Byju’s attempted to remove Byju and his family from all management roles through an EGM crying poor governance and possible siphoning of funds. However, the validity of the EGM has been challenged before the court by Byju and the ruling is pending. Meanwhile, Byju is trying to go ahead with his plan of rights issue of $200Mn at more than 99% haircut on valuation.

    • NCLT has given 3 weeks to Byju’s to respond to an insolvency plea filed by US lenders in relation to its default in repayment of $1.2Bn Term Loan B.


  • RBI suspends Paytm Payment Bank’s activities In a major blow to Paytm, owing to persistent non-compliances with RBI’s norms 🕵🏼‍♂️, Paytm will no longer be allowed to function its wallet interface. Good part is, Paytm still has a chance to revive operations as RBI has not yet revoked the payments bank license. Meanwhile, Paytm is also tying up with 3rd party vendors for uninterrupted user experience.


  • Krutrim- India’s torch bearer in generative AI 🏋🏼‍♂️ We have reason to believe that Ola and Ola Electric’s founder Bhavish Aggarwal knows how to do magic as his 3rd Startup, Krutrim, recorded Unicorn valuation with a fund raise of $50Mn earlier this month. A few days ago, the Startup unveiled its Beta version of the indigenous generative AI chat bot. The first review by the public is NOT KIND!


  • Dunzo just can’t get it off! The Reliance Jio backed quick commerce startup Dunzo has been struggling to remain afloat. Earlier this month NCLT recorded a bankruptcy petition against the company for non-payment of supplier dues. Word on the street is that Flipkart is in talks to takeover the company. We’re not boasting, but we predicted this in our Jan’24 issue. 🤷🏻


  • UBER’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi expresses frustration😡 It took Dara 10 years and millions of dollars to realise something that we knew from day 1: Indians are tight-fisted! If only he had asked!! In an event in Bengaluru, Dara expressed how India has been one of the toughest markets to crack for Uber, as Indian consumers have high demands and very low propensity to pay. However, India remains one of the top priority markets for the ride hailing app.


  • Government bullish on cleantech💪🏼 Numerous initiatives were unveiled in the cleantech sector by FM in her Interim budget speech earlier this month. These ranged from offering viability gap funding for offshore wind energy projects to introducing a fresh scheme for biomanufacturing and bio-foundries. The biggest news: Govt. will install free solar panels atop 1 crore households for free electricity of up to 300 units every month.

 

You can access the print version of this Newsletter here:


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