ReshaMandi, an agritech start-up digitizing India’s silk supply chain, has raised US$1.7 million in seed funding. The round was led by Omnivore and Strive Ventures with participation from Axilor Ventures and Supply Chain Labs (Lumis).
ReshaMandi is building a full-stack platform for organizing the silk supply chain, providing services including quality testing, technical advisory, high-quality inputs and market linkages at each node of the silk supply chain. Its vision is to build traceability “from farm to fashion” by organizing the silk ecosystem comprising silkworm rearers, sericulture farmers, yarn reelers, fabric weavers and retailers.
For sericulture farmers, the start-up provides farm and rearing advisory and high-quality inputs to produce premium cocoons. ReshaMandi also provides an IoT system that is installed on farms to measure temperature, humidity, light and air quality in order to reduce silkworm mortality and improve produce. Once cocoons are ready, farmers can sell them at the ReshaMandi marketplace using the app at competitive rates. Yarn reelers also have access to the platform’s mobile application for one-click procurement of cocoon, quality testing services for yarn output and linkages. Additionally, the platform is exploring fintech opportunities to further buoy this sector.
Mayank Tiwari, Co-founder and CEO of ReshaMandi, said they are excited to bring the first technology-led disruption to India’s US$10 billion silk industry. He said their goal is to reduce the import of silk by helping Indian farmers improve their production capacity and quality.
Subhadeep Sanyal, Partner at Omnivore, observed that despite India being the second-largest producer of silk globally, the industry is still unorganized and in urgent need of technology interventions across the supply chain. “With sericulture farmers having very high smartphone penetration, it is an opportune time for a digital platform like ReshaMandi to address the existing inefficiencies
Siddharth Verma, Investment Manager at Strive Ventures , said the platform is enabling India sericulture farmers and other key players in the value chain compete with the Chinese mass silk manufacturing hubs. He highlighted that through mobile apps, IoT devices and tech-enabled grading systems, ReshaMandi is enabling farmers to increase production, lower wastage, improve quality and get access to better pricing.
Since commencing operations less than a year ago, the start-up has reached an ARR of US$30 million. It is working with more than 2300 farmers and has IoT devices deployed across 10 rearing centres. And recently, the platform was named the Best Emerging Social Enterprise of 2020 by Business Mint. The founders’ plan is to use this funding to strengthen their digital platform and expand beyond Karnataka, establishing a presence in other important Indian silk hubs such as Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.