Agritech startup Farmers Fresh Zone—that made its name in the market with ‘Know Your Farmer’ using traceability tech—on Thursday announced to have raised INR 6 crore in pre-Series A round through existing investors. The round was led by Indian Angel Network (IAN), with participation from IAN Fund, Malabar Angel Network, and Native Angel Network.
Seeing 300 per cent growth in D2C brand building, Farmers Fresh Zone is eyeing to close a $5 million Series A round and has engaged an ibanker already, the company said.
Including this, the company has raised INR 8.5 crore so far.
“The Indian fruits and vegetable sector is valued at $100 billion, of which a staggering 96 per cent is fragmented and disorganized. At Farmers Fresh Zone, we are building a supply chain that offers a superior customer experience. We ensure our customers get safe-to-eat and pesticide-free products, and that our farmers get the right rates for their produce. We provide them data-based predictive information about the existing demand in the market to eliminate any wastage. We are grateful to have received this funding from marquee investors. We are also thankful to the Kerala Start-Up Mission that played an important part in anchoring this deal. In the coming years, we aim to emerge as the #1 player in the premium fruits and vegetable segment of South India, with key focus in offering health and wellness-based products,” said Pradeep PS, founder and chief executive officer, Farmers Fresh Zone.
The Kochi-based startup will use the fresh funds to expand to cities across South India, hire new talent, develop infrastructure, and strengthen the R&D to enhance traceability with Blockchain and AI-based-predictive demand-driven growing of FnV for farmers. Since its establishment in 2018, the agritech startup has connected over 3000 farmers to urban users through its omnichannel presence. Recently, Farmers Fresh Zone has expanded operations to Tamil Nadu and now has a presence in Kochi, Trivandrum, Kottayam, Trissur, and Coimbatore.
“FFZ has consolidated its position strongly during the pandemic by moving 100 per cent online and away from physical stores. Growing 600 per cent during this time, FFZ is well-positioned to crack the D2C fresh FnV space comparable to how on-demand meat delivery has taken off in the country. FFZ is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring the best quality products to their consumers and helping farmers sell pesticide-free products while securing fair rates for their produce. Recently, FFZ was recognized by the UN for its low carbon initiative. We are pleased to make this contribution and hope the company achieves its goals and marks its presence globally,” added Nagaraja Prakasam, lead investor, IAN, and board member, Farmers Fresh Zone.
The startup was founded by a software engineer turned entrepreneur, Pradeep PS with an aim to improve the health and wellness standards of the consumers by providing them access to safe-to-eat, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables. The idea was to bridge the gap between farmers and consumers through unit-level traceability for all products. The startup also adopted a two-pronged approach, wherein, on one side, consumers can track the origin of a product including details of the farms, and on the other, farmers will receive the right rates for their produce.