DeHaat, an online platform that offers full-stack agricultural services to farmers, has actually raised $12 million as it looks to scale its network throughout India.

The Series A monetary round for the eight-year-old Patna and Gurgaon-based startup was led by Sequoia Capital India. Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO, and existing financiers Omnivore and AgFunder, also participated in the round. The start-up, which started to look for funding from external financiers in 2015, has raised$16 million to date and$3 million in venture debt. DeHaat (which means village in Hindi) relieves the concern on farmers by bringing together brands, institutional financers and buyers on one platform, described Shashank Kumar, co-founder and chief executive of the startup, in an interview with TechCrunch.

The platform helps farmers protected thousands of agri-input items, consisting of seeds and fertilizers, and receive customized advisory on the crop they must plant in a season. “We have actually constructed a comprehensive database of crop tests to offer recommendations to farmers,” he stated.

DeHaat, which utilizes 242 individuals, likewise assists them connect with 200 institutional partners to supply farmers with working capital, and when the season is over, helps them sell their yields to bulk buyers such as Dependence Fresh, food delivery start-up Zomato and business-to-business e-commerce giant Udaan. DeHaat today runs in 20 regional hubs in the eastern part of India– states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Jharkhand– and serves more than 210,000 farmers, said Kumar.

Shashank Kumar, Amrendra Singh, Adarsh Srivastav and Shyam Sundar Singh co-founded DeHaat in 2012 The start-up has actually developed a network of hundreds of micro-entrepreneurs in rural areas that distribute agri-input items to farmers from their local centers and then bring back the output to the exact same center.

“We have an app in regional languages and a helpline desk that farmers, a number of whom do not own a mobile phone, use to connect to us and explain their pain points and needs,” he stated.

DeHaat does not charge any fee for its advisory, however takes a cut whenever farmers use its platform to buy agri-inputs or offer their crop yields.

The start-up will use the fresh capital to extend its network to 2,000 rural retail centres, on-board more micro-entrepreneurs for last-mile delivery and reach 1 million farmers by June of next year, stated Kumar. DeHaat is likewise working on automating its supply chain and establishing more sophisticated information analytics, he stated.

At stake is India’s farming market that is worth $350 billion and serves almost 100 million small and independent farmers, stated Abhishek Mohan, VP at Sequoia Capital India, the VC fund that writes more checks than anybody else in the country.

“This industry is on the edge of an enormous transformation thanks to alleviate of policy, farmers getting organized and increasing penetration of smartphones. DeHaat is leveraging these trends to develop the next-gen product in agricultural supply chain,” stated Mohan in a declaration.

“The tipping point that caused Sequoia India’s decision to partner with them was the field go to, where the farmers revealed how happy they were to be associated with a platform they felt really operated in their favour. This impact and deep brand name loyalty comes from the leadership group’s razor-sharp focus, deep compassion and great execution,” he included.

Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.