BigHaat, an online marketplace for agricultural inputs and services, has raised $25 million in a Series C round led by existing investor Accel India. The round also saw participation from new investors such as Sequoia Capital India, Matrix Partners India, and Omidyar Network India. The Bengaluru-based startup will use the funds to expand its product portfolio, enhance its technology platform, and grow its farmer network across India.
A one-stop solution for farmers
BigHaat was founded in 2015 by Sachin Nandwana and Sateesh Nukala, who saw a gap in the market for providing quality and affordable agricultural inputs and services to farmers. The startup aims to be a one-stop solution for farmers, offering them a wide range of products such as seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, farm equipment, and irrigation systems, as well as services such as crop advisory, soil testing, and crop insurance.
BigHaat claims to have over 10 lakh registered farmers on its platform, who can access over 3,000 products from more than 200 brands. The startup also leverages data and artificial intelligence to provide personalized recommendations and solutions to farmers based on their crop, soil, and weather conditions. The startup claims to have improved the productivity and profitability of farmers by up to 40%.
Scaling up amid the pandemic
The agritech sector in India has witnessed a surge in demand and innovation amid the Covid-19 pandemic, as farmers faced challenges such as disrupted supply chains, reduced market access, and increased input costs. BigHaat was able to scale up its operations and reach during this period, as it leveraged its online platform and delivery network to ensure timely and safe delivery of agricultural inputs and services to farmers.
The startup also launched several initiatives to support farmers during the pandemic, such as providing free crop advisory through its app and call center, offering discounts and cashbacks on products, and partnering with NGOs and government agencies to distribute relief kits and awareness materials to farmers.
The startup also expanded its product portfolio to include new categories such as organic farming, hydroponics, and urban gardening, catering to the growing demand for sustainable and healthy food production.
Aiming for a larger impact
With the latest funding, BigHaat plans to further strengthen its position as a leading agritech platform in India, and reach out to more farmers across the country. The startup also aims to launch new products and services, such as digital credit, market linkages, and value-added products, to create more value for farmers and consumers.
The startup also hopes to create a larger impact on the agricultural ecosystem, by empowering farmers with knowledge, technology, and access, and by promoting best practices and innovations in the sector.
“We are excited to partner with our existing and new investors, who share our vision of transforming the Indian agriculture sector. We believe that by providing farmers with quality inputs, services, and information, we can help them improve their productivity, profitability, and sustainability. We are also committed to creating a positive social and environmental impact, by supporting organic farming, reducing chemical usage, and enhancing soil health,” said Sachin Nandwana, co-founder and CEO of BigHaat.
The investors also expressed their confidence and support for the startup and its mission.
“BigHaat has built a strong brand and a loyal customer base in the agritech space, by offering a comprehensive and differentiated solution for farmers. We are impressed by the team’s execution and innovation, and we are happy to continue our partnership with them. We believe that BigHaat has the potential to become a category leader and a trusted partner for millions of farmers in India,” said Prashanth Prakash, partner at Accel India.
“BigHaat is addressing a large and underserved market opportunity, by bringing technology and data to the agriculture sector. The startup has demonstrated strong growth and retention metrics, and has built a scalable and efficient business model. We are excited to join the BigHaat journey, and support them in their next phase of growth and impact,” said Ashish Agrawal, principal at Sequoia Capital India.