Omnivore Farm Logs: Why we invested in BharatAgri
How is BaharatAgri turning the dream of doubling farmers’ income into reality?
The traditional farming playbook fails to factor in changing climatic conditions, dwindling natural resources, and optimal use of expensive crop inputs. As a result, Indian farmers struggle with declining incomes and their on-farm investments fail to reap proportionate returns.
Why agri advisory services?
Indian farmers lack access to critical pieces of data necessary for planning a successful crop cycle. Information on soil health, crop-specific irrigation requirements, water availability, and weather forecasts are either unavailable, unreliable, or unaffordable. More affluent landowners hire agronomists as consultants, but they are very expensive and out of reach for smallholder farmers.
Despite the challenges they face, Indian farmers possess a voracious appetite for learning about the latest advances in agriculture. With the increasing penetration of smartphones in rural India, and the availability of 4G, farmers are keen to explore affordable solutions to improve their incomes. COVID has also shown farmers that digital solutions are resilient in times of crisis, and hence they are more open to transacting via smartphone.
What is BharatAgri doing differently?
BharatAgri offers farmers an app-based platform for AI-powered agronomy services on a paid subscription basis. Currently, it is the only agritech startup in India to successfully monetize a purely digital product for farmers. BharatAgri offers a fully digital and automated service at an affordable price that provides targeted insights at appropriate times and regular monitoring of crops.
The startup has created an easy-to-use digital product. Once downloaded, the application prompts farmers to provide crop details and, additionally, geofence the area under cultivation. The startup’s proprietary algorithm goes on to collect data on more than 30 critical parameters to provide a customized crop calendar with weather-based dynamic guidance. The detailed advisory not only specifies the various activities that farmers need to undertake across the entire crop cycle, but also provides a complete list of recommended inputs. The interactive interface sends timely reminders for each task on the calendar, and, when in doubt, farmers can connect with experienced agronomists over chat or a phone call.
How well is BharatAgri’s approach working?
Over the past 12 months, BharatAgri has experienced 20x growth in paid subscription sales with a 65% renewal rate. Currently, the platform has over 33,000 active paid users and aims to expand its subscription base to 150,000 by March 2022. The farmer population on the platform is evenly split between those growing horticulture crops and those growing commodity crops. On average, farmers pay approximately USD 8.00 (INR 600) per acre for a six-month subscription.
What about BharatAgri was compelling for Omnivore?
Improving farmer profitability and promoting sustainable agricultural practices are key components of Omnivore’s investment thesis. BharatAgri’s innovation is aligned to achieve both at scale, reaching millions of farmers and delivering agronomic solutions at an affordable price point.
What’s next for BharatAgri?
BharatAgri intends to use this Series A funding to expand its subscriber base beyond Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, accelerate the growth of its inputs marketplace, and refine the existing technology offering. BharatAgri plans to aggressively scale up in the Rabi 2021 season and launch its Series B round in January 2022.
We are thrilled to welcome BharatAgri to the Omnivore portfolio and look forward to empowering every Indian farmer with scientific, actionable, and affordable agronomy services.