Onato, a data driven B2B platform for fresh produce, emerged out of stealth and announced a seed financing of USD 2.2 million. This round was led by Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India with participation from Omnivore. Onato is building a technology platform for India’s USD 100+ billion fruits and vegetables (F&V) industry. The startup plans to use this funding for talent acquisition and scaling up its operations.
Based out of Bangalore, Onato was founded in February 2021 by entrepreneurs Vedant Katiyar and Ashish Jindal. An alumnus of FMS Delhi, Vedant was the co-founder of agritech startup Gobasco. He then went on to explore various agritech business models before launching Onato. As for Ashish, after graduating from IIT Delhi, he has spent over nine years building technology at Amazon, Swiggy, and Astrotalk and co-founded CodeYeti.
Regarding their future plans, Vedant Katiyar commented, “More than 60% population of India is dependent on agriculture and yet tech penetration in the agri-supply chain is quite low. Decision making is mostly intuition driven which leads to a lot of volatility in prices & wastage. I believe bringing in transparency in price discovery and fulfillment through technology will play a crucial role in streamlining the supply chains & decision making.”
Ashish Jindal added “We envision that by harnessing the power of on-ground data, we can create a revolutionary change in the existing agri value-chain which will result in better value distribution for all participants from farmer up to end-consumer.”
Kanika Mayar, Executive Director of Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India, observed, “Most of India’s fresh supply moves through inefficient supply chains due to fragmented volumes, arbitrary pricing and complex credit management. Onato aims to solve for these critical bottlenecks and we are excited to partner with Vedant and Ashish on their mission of bringing scalable disruption to the F&V supply chain in India.”
Jinesh Shah, Managing Partner of Omnivore, said, “Onato’s well-crafted digital intervention and robust fulfillment process are easing the burden of credit in the supply chain. The startup is also solving the issue of income instability in Indian agriculture that so often compels farmers to exit farming altogether.”
Despite its staggering size, the Indian F&V value chain is fraught with challenges. The ecosystem grapples with arbitrary price setting, unreliable payment schedules, and lack of access to real-time data between suppliers and the downstream market participants. Onato’s platform connects various stakeholders directly and uses data from the demand and supply side to bring transparency in volume and pricing, ensure timely payments, and help customers access new business opportunities. This in turn drives better margins and allows small and medium participants to expand their business over time without deepening their credit burden.