On Friday, Agri-tech startup’s founder, Vivek Rajkumar’s Aibono (1), said the firm raised 2 million USD from investors. It was to fund the expansion plan and growth of the business. The Bengaluru-based firm is an end-to-end aggregator platform that connects premium perishable vegetables from farms to the plates.
Aibono helps farmers from the Nilgiris, and surrounding villages in Tamil Nadu grow vegetables and herbs with better yields. The startup does it with the help of its AI-powered full-stack farm services and demand-supply technology. It also provides a buy-back guarantee to these farmers.
Aibono leverages data science-driven demand-supply synchronization, farm analytics, and engines to prevent food wastage. It improves agricultural efficiency as well as stabilize the livelihoods of farmers specializing in perishable vegetables.
Japanese venture capital firms Rebright Partners and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Venture Capital lead the current capital raise. Also, by Swiss Impact Investor Lesing Artha, a subsidiary of Rianta Capital(UK). The Aibono has raised a total of USD 4.5 million since its inception in 2015.
Investors on the Initiatives of Aibono
Vivek Rajkumar said they have onboarded 1,000 farmers on their platform and are supplying to about 800 retailers. Vijay added that the company is targeting to double the number of farmers on its platform.
Further, he said, with the funding, the firm will invest in scaling capacity and increasing supply to the existing businesses. It will be expanding to institutional retail and make a possible direct-to-home supply of perishables via modern delivery platforms.
Takeshi Ebihara, Founding General Partner of Rebright Partners, said India’s retail demand for fresh farm products has increased. There are very few players like Aibono who are concentrating on solving pain-points at the ground level.
Masataka Nakamura, Partner of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Venture Capital, said the pandemic had brought many business continuity challenges. It makes the investor community seek caution and be conservative in approach to funding.
Aibono is balancing the scale and profitability with equal emphasis on farmer and retailer growth. All these with a sustainable business model in Aibono.