AGRIM, a B2B platform for agri-inputs, has raised USD 10 million in Series A funding round, which was led by Kalaari Capital, with participation from existing investors Omnivore, India Quotient, and Accion Venture Labs. Axis Bank also joined the round as part of their Bharat Banking initiative.
AGRIM is building the largest digital platform for India’s USD 50 billion agri-inputs industry by connecting retailers directly with manufacturers and providing all parties with solutions for distribution, credit, logistics, and marketing. AGRIM works across agri-input categories, including seeds, fertilizer, crop protection, animal nutrition, and farm implements.
Rural agri-input retailers grapple with a limited assortment of goods, poor availability, opaque pricing, spurious product quality, and the high cost of working capital. At the same time, agri-input manufacturers struggle to grow their businesses, increase the penetration of their products across geographies, manage working capital, and optimize logistics. AGRIM’s digital platform cuts across the existing multi-tier distribution system and delivers quality inputs via efficient fulfillment services. AGRIM currently works across 500 districts, with over 2,500 manufacturers and 170,000 retailers on the platform.
AGRIM plans to use this funding for talent acquisition, embedded fintech product development, and scaling up operations. The startup expects to clock annualized GMV (gross merchandising value) of USD 100 million in 2022. AGRIM plans to increase stock-keeping units by 10x, to reach 250,000 SKUs across agri-input categories, providing retailers with a vast selection on the platform. As agri-input retailers and manufacturers suffer from steep working capital requirements, AGRIM will soon be launching financial services to ease their burden while ensuring optimum stocking.
Mukul Garg, Co-Founder and CEO of AGRIM, said that in the last 15 months, they have achieved product-market fit. “This investment will help us expand exponentially into new categories and geographies. Given the unit-level profitability, most funds will be used to bring rock stars onboard and launch embedded fintech services for our retailers.”
Vamshi Krishna Reddy, the Partner at Kalaari Capital, said they are excited about playing a role in AGRIM’s vision of transforming the agri-input retail market in India. “The founding team’s deep expertise and clarity of thought, along with their strong focus on unit-level profitability, resonated with us. AGRIM’s goal of building a strong, tech-enabled ecosystem for small retailers of crucial agricultural supplies can transform the way agri-inputs are sourced across the country while ensuring better quality and access to products for agri-based communities.”
Munish Sharda, the Group Executive & Head of Bharat Banking at Axis Bank, said Axis Bank is focused on creating a distinctive ‘Bharat Bank’ unit with tailored products and processes for rural segments. “We are aiming for increased footfall through branches as well as a digital presence, and partnerships with players focused on delivering solutions to these segments. Investment in AGRIM is aligned to our Bharat Banking strategy and we look forward to building a strong partnership by providing suitable banking products and services to their customers.”
Based in Gurgaon, AGRIM was founded in April 2020 by serial entrepreneurs and IIT Kharagpur alumni Mukul Garg and Avi Jain. Prior to AGRIM, Mukul was Head of Growth at Blackbuck, India’s largest trucking platform. Avi is an alumnus of IIM Calcutta, after which he worked in investment banking with Nomura, and then co-founded Taazu, a corporate travel platform, which he exited in 2019. AGRIM will soon welcome senior hires for their financial services team, who are joining from various fintech unicorns.