DeHaat, an Indian Agtech start-up is being hailed as a revolution. India’s Agriculture sector, which was once its problematic backbone, is now undergoing a complete transformation. Thanks to AgTech start-ups that are swooping in and closing every single gap in the industry which has remained open for way too long.
DeHaat, a Gurgaon-based start-up is especially important because it comes in the league of one of the highest valued Agtech firms in India.
DeHaat’s portfolio of services caters to the needs of farmers. It’s a fine example of a start-up that’s fostering ‘Atmanirbharta’ among Indian farmers in the true sense.
Agtech Start-up that’s helping farmers
DeHaat’s portfolio of services are designed to benefit Indian farmers. The company provides input access to farmers regarding high quality material. They also provide scientific, personalized advisory about optimum farming conditions. The physical presence of the start-up encompasses a chain of Agricultural centre franchises run by ‘micro-entrepreneurs’ also called ‘coordinators’. These micro-entrepreneurs or coordinators are responsible for interacting with farmers and building trust with them. The most important service which the company is extending to farmers is to support produce sales for institutional buyers. DeHaat is a fine example of a start-up that’s fostering ‘Atmanirbharta’ among Indian farmers in the true sense.
They aspired to go beyond ‘farm-to-fork’ and have coined their own ‘Bheej-to-Bazaar’ (Seed-to-market) concept.
The company’s business model is built on the vision of creating a one-stop solution for farmers. They are bridging the gap between farmers and technology. Through a ‘Click-to-Mortar’ (Physical + Digital) medium, they are providing valuable information like pest and disease management through the combination of Mobile App + Contact Centre. On the other hand, their physical rural retail network is offering last-mile delivery for farmers across the country.
As the first touchpoint, advisory services can be freely availed by using the DeHaat app or by getting in touch with the contact centre. If a farmer wishes to pay, they will be onboarded to avail inputs, produce sales, Soil Testing and Weather Reports services at fair and reasonable pricing.
True disruptor in Agtech
A true disruptor in Agtech, DeHaat attempts at ‘redefining’ the problem statement for Indian farmers. They are actively trying to change the perception around Indian farmers by shedding light on their needs, rather than their challenges.
Farmers want to know the best crops to grow depending on the season, location, temperature, and conditions. They also need key information about seed linkages, quantity of fertilisers and pesticides. Farmers are also in need of infrastructure, machinery, tools, and services like funding, insurance, and more.
By providing them all of these things, DeHaat has managed to do what none of the Agtech start-ups have done till date.
DeHaat’s funding revolution
DeHaat was founded 8 years ago. On April 6 2020, they received $12 M in a Series A funding round backed by Sequoia Capital. Which is interesting because it goes to show their relevance in the thick of the pandemic.
In January of this year, they received $30M in a Series C funding round backed by both new and existing investors including Prosus, Sequoia Capital India, FMO, Omnivore, and AgFunder. The company has received a total funding of 49.3M up until January of 2021.
What’s in it for me?
The biggest lesson that start-ups can learn from this success story is that solving real problems in the Agriculture sector can make you a true disruptor.
The Indian Agtech Market is expected to be valued at $24.1 B by 2025, so the potential is high in this sector.
There are gaping holes in the market waiting to be filled by disruptive start-ups. To do this, your start-up must solve a real problem, meet a challenge, bridge a gap.
For instance, modern farm technologies are still inaccessible by a majority of the Agricultural sector. Although Agtech start-ups are slowly introducing technologies to the market, if as a start-up you manage to unlock access on a large scale just like DeHaat is doing, you can become a disruptor.