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This agritech startup uses data science to improve crop yields; raises $27 million 

Financial Express , Mar 14, 2019

Agritech startup AgroStar, which provides agronomy advice along with agri input products using data science, announced raising $27 million in their latest fundraising. The round was led by Bertelsmann India Investments, the strategic investment arm of German mass media company Bertelsmann in India. AgroStar’s existing investors including Accel Partners, Chirate Ventures and Aavishkaar Bharat Fund also participated in the round.

With the latest round of funding, AgroStar is planning to expand its digital presence in India to digitize farms on the back of smartphone penetration in rural areas and data becoming more affordable, the company said in a statement.

AgroStar said that it intends to pour further capital in its technology platform and data science strengths for market expansion. Further, the startup is also looking to on-board agri professionals.

“Our agri input focused commerce platform and tech enabled agronomy solutions are addressing key challenges faced by the Indian farmer and making farming more profitable and sustainable for them,” AgroStar CEO and Co-founder Shardul Sheth said.

AgroStar currently has more than 5 lakh farmers on its platform spread across Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan. The startup allows farmers to avail solutions around entire crop life-cycle through a missed call or its app apart from buying agri inputs such as seeds, crop protection, crop nutrition and farm implement products.

Indian agri-tech market saw rise 366 agri-based startups from 2013 to 2017 out of which more than 50% of them were launched in 2015 and 2016 across supply chain, infrastructure development, finance and related solutions, farm data analytics and information platforms, said a PwC-FICCI 2018 report on agri startups in India.

The total revenue of all agritech startups in India is around less than $100 million in the market worth over massive $350 billion, the report titled Innovation for Boosting the Future of Agriculture in India said.

With the latest funding, AgroStar has raised a total of $41 million over three rounds, as per deals tracker Crunchbase.