What A Connect! Shilpa Shetty Backed Farm-to-Fork Startup's $3.74M Win

What is Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty's Konnect with Kisan? Explore her fitness-backed farm-to-fork startup securing funds. What sets it apart in agri-tech innovation, sustainability, and empowering rural women? Read for more details.

Swati Dayal
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As technology permeates the agricultural sector, consumers are exhibiting a heightened sense of caution when it comes to their food choices. The growing awareness of food safety and sustainability has led to an increased demand for fresh farm produce. Consumers, armed with technology-driven information, are actively seeking transparency in the sourcing and procurement of their food, emphasizing a preference for products that align with their health and ethical considerations. 

Bollywood celebrities are increasingly supporting sustainable and green startups that show potential in becoming the most promising sectors of the time. It can also be stated that these celebrity-backed startups gain investors' trust through their innovation, technology, business ideas, and the celebrity's endorsement.

Bollywood Actress Shilpa Shetty backed Mumbai-based omnichannel farm-to-fork startup, KisanKonnect, has successfully raised Rs 31 crore (approximately $3.74 million) in its pre-Series A funding round. The funding was spearheaded by Green Frontier Capital (GFC), a renowned Climate tech-focused fund, and saw participation from Dhanuka Agritech Limited, VC Grid, and several family offices.

The Role of Agritech Startups in a Changing Landscape

India's agriculture sector is a vital contributor to the nation's economy comprising 18.3 percent of the GDP and employing 158 million individuals.

Amidst the challenges posed by a burgeoning middle class and climate change, the agricultural landscape is witnessing a transformative shift. Embracing technology, particularly through the burgeoning agritech sector, is becoming instrumental in enhancing efficiency, sustainability, and resilience throughout the agriculture value chain.

Currently the country hosts over 3,000 agritech startups incorporated with emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the Internet of Things to propel agricultural innovation.

Agri-tech startups are gaining increasing trust from investors due to the growing needs in the market.

Green Frontier Capital Takes the Lead

Green Frontier Capital, known for its commitment to climate-focused investments, expressed enthusiasm about its partnership with KisanKonnect. Sandiip Bhammer, Managing Partner and Founder of GFC, highlighted the startup's groundbreaking supply chain as a game-changer in the pursuit of an eco-friendly future. Bhammer emphasized the potential impact on reducing carbon emissions in the agricultural sector through the collaboration.

What Is KisanKonnect? How Is It Unique?

Founded in 2020, KisanKonnect is a fully integrated fresh produce agro startup that operates with a commitment to providing consumers with high-quality farm-to-fork products. The company follows a distinctive model, sourcing directly from farmers and ensuring the physical delivery of produce to over 1 lakh clients in Mumbai and Pune through its Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) app and farm stores.

The startup actively collaborates with the farming community, growing food responsibly while leveraging in-house technologies to streamline its distribution channels. KisanKonnect doesn't just stop at fresh produce; it also manufactures and distributes handpicked agri-produce and preservative-free snacks under the 'Village Staples' and 'Mom's Kitchen' labels. These products are exclusively crafted by rural women in a sanitary central kitchen, further aligning with the startup's mission of promoting sustainable and inclusive practices.

Empowering Climate-Smart Agriculture

The funds raised in this pre-Series A round are earmarked for expanding KisanKonnect's footprint in climate-smart agriculture interventions. With a network of 5,000 farmers, the startup aims to strengthen its fresh-produce supply chain technology and increase the number of farm stores, building upon its existing presence in Mumbai and Pune.

KisanKonnect is dedicated to cutting out middlemen in the supply chain through its sourcing strategy. Operating through village-level collection centers, the startup ensures a direct link between farmers and consumers, eliminating unnecessary intermediaries and providing a fairer deal for both parties.

 The startup's unique blend of technology-driven sourcing, direct-to-consumer delivery, and empowering rural women in its production processes sets it apart in the agro-tech landscape.

With has a customer base exceeding 1 lakh. The infusion of funds from this pre-Series A round is expected to catalyze the startup's efforts in revolutionizing the agricultural supply chain and contributing to a more sustainable and inclusive future.

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