Schroder UK Public Private Trust is making its first transaction in Asia, with an investment of $8.0m (about £6.6m) in AgroStar (Ulink Agritech Pvt. Ltd.), one of India’s foremost agricultural technology (AgTech) start-ups. You can visit its website here. This investment forms part of a $25m (£20.6m) total investment by Schroders Capital that led the $40m financing round.
The financing round also saw participation from other existing investors including Accel, Chiratae Ventures, Evolvence, Aavishkaar Capital, Bertelsmann India Investments, Hero Enterprise, Rabo Frontier Ventures, British International Investments and IFC.
Founded in 2013, AgroStar uses technology, data, and agronomy knowledge to help Indian farmers. It provides an end-to-end solution that is solving three major problems for Indian farmers: limited access to good quality agricultural inputs, a knowledge gap (even among the most experienced farmers), and a lack of access to global markets to sell their produce.
The company serves millions of farmers across multiple Indian states via an omnichannel (including physical stores, websites, mobile apps, social media, and phone) approach. It has built a highly engaged digital farmer network on the AgroStar app, with over 7.5m users, and a rapidly expanding retail network of over 5,000 stores.
Through the recent acquisition of INI Farms, India’s largest exporter of fruits and vegetables, AgroStar is quickly scaling its business into the domestic and international food supply chains.
From and ESG perspective, Schroder UK Public Private is committed to improving its sustainability profile and intends to disclose, where appropriate, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) associated with new investments. The investment in AgroStar is in line with SDG 2 “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture,” specifically Target 2.3 “By 2030, double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets, and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment” and Target 2.4 “By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality.”
SUPP : Schroder UK Public Private backs Indian AgTech start-up