Venture Catalysts recently led Rs 4.5 crore seed investment in qZense Labs, an agritech startup for quality control and management of fresh produce. The funding round was led by Manish Modi, the MD of Mastermind Capital, & Vedant Loyalka, Chairman of Curae Health.
qZense aims to transform the Indian fresh food supply chain industry with its end-to-end IOT-based solution for providing quality assessment and management of fresh produce. Around 40 per cent of the fresh, post-harvest produce in the world is lost due to factors such as internal spoilage, low shelf-life, and over-ripening during transportation. Intuition-based, manual decision-making is the leading cause behind this considerable inventory loss suboptimal margins, making quality assessment and management of fresh food, an area of concern in the retail market. This is where qZense enters the picture.
Rubal Chib, founder at qZense, said the company is pleased to partner with Venture Catalysts and The Chennai Angels. “Their support will enable us to take another step towards our vision of becoming a one-stop-solution for quality assessment of fresh produce,” Chib said. “We will leverage the capital infusion to bolster our expansion plans by scaling the team and accelerating our marketing endeavors.”
Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, Co-founder and President of Venture Capitals & 9Unicorns, said the digital boom has undeniably put the Indian agritech industry on the map. “The space is witnessing new developments every day, each innovation addressing specific pain points in the sector,” he said. “One such pain point is managing the quality of fresh produce and minimizing its wastage.” Sharma said qZense is aiming to address and resolve this pertinent issue by leveraging the power of digital technology. “The founding team’s dedication and the startup’s IP are well-positioned to disrupt the market space worth US$2 billion. We are confident that the startup will transform the experience of Indian food businesses and retailers for the better.”
K Chandran, CEO of The Chennai Angels, said the founding team is very competent with complimentary and highly complex skillsets. “We believe that their solutions have the potential to optimize revenues and minimize wastage for all players in the agri food chain. We also see promising large use cases in harvesting of sugarcane and vanilla where non destructive measurement of sugar content will hugely benefit the farmer community.”
qZense solves the problem by providing a non-destructive and accurate qualitative grading of fresh foods across the supply chain to food businesses and retailers. Its innovative technology captures the internal quality of food by employing NIR and olfactory senses, and machine learning algorithms to provide an accurate analytical assessment of various internal quality parameters.