Mahindra Univeg has invested in an Indian start-up that provides a virtual marketplace for the country’s fresh produce trade, according to local media reports.
The multinational joint venture company has agreed to a minority 33 per cent shareholding in the online platform's developer, MeraKisan, although the financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
MeraKisan directly sources fresh fruit and vegetables from Indian growers, then sells them to end-consumers via its online portal shopping.merakisan.com.
"Our investment in MeraKisan will enable the farmers and the consumers to connect digitally and create a win-win situation,” Ashok Sharma, managing director and chief executive of Mahindra Agri Solutions, told Business Standard. “We are strongly committed towards our vision of sustainability and delivering farmtech properity, and our investment in this venture is yet another proof of our commitment.”
MeraKisan currently operates in the Pune market, with the investment paving the way for expansion into Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, according to Business Standard.
MeraKisan's founder Prashanth Patil will continue to hold the majority stake in the company and serve as chief executive.
"This coming together is significant as we share a common goal of impacting the lives of the Indian farmer,” Patil said. “Leveraging our digital platform, MeraKisan will ensure delivery of high quality fruits and vegetables at the door step of the consumer. I am sure that this initiative will be a trendsetter in creating value for the Indian farming community."
Mahindra Univeg is a 60:40 joint venture between India’s Mahindra Agri Soluions and Belgian giant Univeg.