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CropIn gets funding boost

Indian ag-tech start-up CropIn raises US$8m to roll out its SmartFarm technology across India and the world

CropIn gets funding boost

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Indian agricultural technology start-up CropIn has raised US$8m in funds to roll out its SmartFarm technology in India and around the world, reports AgFunder.

CropIn will use the money, from India’s Chiratae Ventures and the US Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to expand the reach of its technology to 10m “actively-monitored acres” across 7m farmers in India and globally, it said.

CropIn is currently in use across 3m acres and 2m farmers in 29 countries throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America, and some European markets, reports AgFunder.

Its customers include global agribusinesses, banks, government bodies, and development agencies in a business-to-business-to-farmer model.

CropIn uses remote sensing, big data and machine-learning to help customers analyse the fields at plot-level, the report said. 
The SmartRisk platform offers yield prediction and traceability and, by detecting patterns in crop growth, using weather information and satellite imaging, it can predict the state of the crops in the future, along with potential risks and opportunities for its clients.

It can then provide near-real-time actionable insights to agriculture processors, distributors, inputs providers, lenders and insurers which can connect to the platform through its API.

Because data is collected and curated by agribusiness employees active at the plot-level and scrubbed for any inconsistencies by CropIn, there is high confidence that the information accurately reflects what is happening on the farm representing “ground-truth” data, the report said. CropIn then builds on this data to enhance traceability and monitoring for its agribusiness clients through various software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings.

“India’s rich mix of farming practices and small landholdings provide a massive data set to inform our models,” said CropIn co-founder and CEO Krishna Kumar in a statement. “Further, as a SaaS company, geography has never been a limiting factor for expanding our customer base. As ground-truth information from these geographies continues to fill our data lake, it provides insights that create a paradigm shift in the agriculture ecosystem globally.”

CropIn is currently collecting data on 265 crops with nearly 3,500 variants on its platform across billions of data points that grow every day, the report said.

Commenting on his company’s investment in the scheme, Karan Mohla, executive director at Chiratae Ventures, said: “We fundamentally believe in the founders’ vision of creating a global agri-tech leader, while partnering with multiple stakeholders including agri-businesses, farming companies, financial lending and insurance companies.

“The sheer impact of CropIn for their global customers across 29 countries based on the unique data sets captured by the platform, is staggering. The potential to revolutionise agriculture leveraging technology and machine-learning has never been greater, and we believe Krishna and Kunal will continue to pioneer this industry for years ahead.”

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