Aavishkaar Capital, the impact investing arm of the Aavishkaar group, has invested ₹35 crore ($5 million) in a Series A round in Ergos, an agri-tech start-up.
Founded by Kishor Jha and Praveen Kumar, entrepreneurs from Bihar, Ergos has been building a GrainBank model that has been piloted in Bihar. The model enables farmers to digitise their food grain and also provide doorstep access to end-to-end post-harvest supply chain solutions to the farmers by leveraging a technology platform. Over the last five years, the GrainBank has helped farmers achieve significantly higher incomes, according to a press release from Aavishkaar.
The release said the Ergos platform operated like a bank and offered storage, digitisation, credit and liquidation facility to farmers.
Aavishkaar had provided seed funding to Ergos in 2015 from an earlier fund at the ideation stage and worked with the promoters in scaling the model. The Series A funding was expected to be a ₹100-crore round with an Aavishkaar Capital Limited Partner and a technology venture capital fund set to join the round.
The release quoted Kishor Jha, Founder and CEO, Ergos, as saying that the aim is to build GrainBank to serve the post-harvest requirements of all farmers, especially small and marginal farmers. The company intended to scale into nearby States and service more than a million farmers by 2025 with over 2,000 branch locations. The start-up supports more than 20,000 farmers on its digital platform and has a physical footprint in over 60 locations.