Safe-to-Eat, Agri-tech startup, Farmers Fresh Zone that made its name in the market with ‘Know Your Farmer’ using traceability tech, has raised INR 6 crore in pre-series A round through existing investors. Including this the company has raised INR 8.5Cr so far. The round was led by Indian Angel Network (IAN), with participation from IAN Fund, Malabar Angel Network and Native Angel Network. Seeing 300% growth in D2C brand building, Farmers FZ is eyeing to close a $5M series A round and has engaged an ibanker already.
The Kochi-based startup will use the fresh funds to expand to cities across South India, hire new talent, develop infrastructure, and strengthen the R&D to enhance traceability with Blockchain and AI based-predictive demand driven growing of FnV for farmer. Since its establishment in 2018, the agri-tech startup has connected over 3000+ farmers to urban users through its omni-channel presence. Recently, Farmers Fresh Zone has expanded operations to Tamil Nadu and now has a presence in Kochi, Trivandrum, Kottayam, Trissur, and Coimbatore.
The startup was founded by a software engineer turned entrepreneur, Pradeep PS with an aim to improve the health and wellness standards of the consumers by providing them access to safe-to-eat, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables. The idea was to bridge the gap between farmers and consumers through a unit-level traceability for all products. The startup also adopted a two-pronged approach, wherein, on one side, consumers can track the origin of a product including details of the farms, and on the other, farmers will receive the right rates for their produce.
Moreover, through its technological interventions, Farmers Fresh Zone is working relentlessly to provide enhanced user experience, building cutting-edge solutions to improve supply-chain efficiency, and collecting data to analyze yield prediction and profit calculation.
Speaking on the development, 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. At Farmers Fresh Zone, we are building a supply chain that offers a superior customer experience. We ensure our customers get safe-to-eat and pesticide-free products, and that our farmers get the right rates for their produce. We provide them data-based predictive information about the existing demand in the market to eliminate any wastage. We are grateful to have received this funding from marquee investors. We are also thankful to the Kerala Start-Up Mission that played an important part in anchoring this deal. In the coming years, we aim to emerge as the #1 player in the premium fruits and vegetable segment of South India, with key focus in offering health and wellness based products.”
Nagaraja Prakasam, Lead Investor at IAN and board member of Farmers Fresh Zone said, “FFZ has consolidated its position strongly during the pandemic by moving 100% online and away from physical stores. Growing 600% during this time, FFZ is well positioned to crack the D2C fresh FnV space comparable to how on-demand meat delivery has taken off in the country. FFZ is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring the best quality products to their consumers, and helping farmers sell pesticide-free products while securing fair rates for their produce. Recently, FFZ was recognized by UN for its low carbon initiative. We are pleased to make this contribution and hope the company achieves its goals and marks its presence globally.” Prakasam, who is a veteran IAN lead investor, has led over 9 IAN deals notably, Conversational AI Uniphore that raised $140M Series D, and EdTech SP Robotic Works $3M Series A recently.
Backed by a strong team with young leaders on board, Farmers FZ conducts regular market studies and alerts farmers regarding prices, mechanization, domain knowledge, insurance, and others.