Farmers Fresh Zone, an agri-tech startup has raised Rs. 3.5 crores led by IAN Fund. With this round, Farmers Fresh Zone’s overall fund-raising has crossed Rs. 6.5 crores.
Coming from an agricultural family, Pradeep PS, Founder and CEO of Farmers Fresh Zone realized the need for a marketplace for farmers to sell their agriculture produce directly to the consumers. This prompted a software engineer to turn into an agri entrepreneur to establish Farmers Fresh Zone in 2015.
The Kochi-based agri-tech startup aims at unlocking access to safe-to-eat, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables directly sourced from farmers. Through its Omni channel presence, the startup has so far connected over 1500 farmers to urban consumers.
Speaking on the latest development, Padmaja Ruparel, Founding Partner, IAN Fund said, “Kerala’s startup ecosystem is truly thriving, thanks to the efforts of Kerala Startup Mission in the state. Farmers FZ is an example of how India agriculture is innovating and enabling farmers to sell pesticide-free products to customers, at a fair price. Pradeep is a passionate leader leveraging his understanding of agriculture, technology and building a scalable business.”
In a quest to bridge the gap between the consumers and the farmers, the startup has adopted a two-pronged approach. From the consumer’s perspective, it is one of the first Indian agri-tech firms to introduce unit-level traceability for all products. This helps consumers to track the origin of a product including details of the farms and farmers. On the other hand, for the farmers, the firm provides the right price and right mix of products, improving earnings and reducing wastage
Moreover, with its technological interventions, the agri-tech startup is constantly working to provide enhanced user experience, building cutting-edge solutions to improve supply chain efficiency, and collects data to analyze yield prediction and profit calculation.
Speaking on the investment received, Pradeep PS, Founder and CEO of Farmers Fresh Zone said, “The Indian fruits and vegetable sector is valued at $100 billion, of which a staggering 96% is fragmented and disorganized. In 2014, the organic food market was valued at $0.36 billion and the market has been growing at a CAGR of 25%. The pesticide-free i.e. scientifically grown safe-to-eat fruits and vegetable market is much larger than the organic segment. That’s exactly where Farmers Fresh Zone is playing its role. We believe our proposition is unique and caters to a niche base. Having received the funding from IAN, we are looking to invest in expanding our brand to new markets including Bangalore. Our aim is to emerge as the #1 player in the premium fruits and vegetable segment of South India, and we are working hard in building a strong base in the nutrition segment.”
Backed by a strong team with young leaders on board, the company conducts market studies and alerts farmers regarding the prices, mechanization, domain knowledge, insurance, and others.