Hellman & Friedman senior advisor joins as Superplum chairman  

Indian ag-tech start-up Superplum has announced the completion of its US$15m Series A financing. The funds will enable Superplum to continue to build out its infrastructure and assist its efforts to transform produce supply chains in India.  

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Superplum offers premium produce including mangoes 

The round was led by the company’s incoming chairman, Erik Ragatz, former partner and current senior advisor of the global private equity firm Hellman & Friedman. Ragatz joins a strong group of current investors including Mark Siegel, Dan Rose, Steve Jurvetson, Rick Kimball, Binny Bansal, and Kabir Misra.  

“Superplum is a hugely disruptive play in the existing produce markets in India and has the opportunity to create an incredibly valuable enterprise,” Ragatz said.  

“This is also one of those great stories, where positive business success should bring a positive impact to the company’s stakeholders – changing the lives of farmers through increased pay and better terms, reducing food waste across the supply chain, and delivering healthier options to consumers.” 

Superplum has built out a direct-from-farm produce supply chain, using proprietary technology and cold-chain infrastructure to improve how produce is grown and brought to market in India. It offers premium produce including mangoes, lychees, apples, grapes, cherries, and plums among a growing list of products.  

In 2023, the start-up launched a traceability system to connect consumers with farmers and allows users to view pesticide reports for each batch and see the fruit’s journey from farm to table. 

Superplum’s offering is designed to help address some of Indian agriculture’s endemic structural issues. The company has said its vertically integrated cold chain technology extends the shelf-life and enhances the quality of fruit which in turn expands produce availability across the country, reduces food waste and ultimately improves farmer incomes. The company works with farmers across 22 states in India and runs modern sourcing and supply chains for 25 fruits across the year.  

Shobhit Gupta, the company’s cofounder and chief executive said that while India has made huge strides in different domains, fresh produce remains lacking in technology and investments.  

“Building from the ground up, we had the opportunity to reimagine the whole supply chain and get superior, safer produce to consumers – and they seem to be loving it,” he said. “We have spent the time, over the last few years to build outsourcing and supply chains for traditionally tough-to-handle fruits such as mangoes, lychees, cherries, and guavas and we get the most appreciative feedback on them. Consumers can really tell the difference. There’s no reason that Indian consumers should find it difficult to get their hands on high-quality domestic produce.”