Data-centric Indian agtech firms such as Cropin and AgNext among others are getting aggressive with their overseas expansion plans.
South-East Asia, where technology adoption in agriculture and commodity value chain is picking up, seems to be emerging as the favourite destination for the Indian agri-tech start-ups, which are also looking at Africa, West Asia and the advanced markets like the United States.
Cropin, which already has its solutions deployed in over 56 countries, is setting up a subsidary in Singapore to go deeper into the S-E Asian market and also in the US. Last year, it started a subsidiary in the Netherlands to serve the European market. “We are getting a good traction in the international market and we want to tap into that,” said Cropin Founder and CEO, Krishna Kumar.
Cropin, which leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to increase efficiency and productivity in the farm sector, works with over 250 customers and has digitised over 16 million acres of farm land improving livelihoods of over 7 million farmers. The company has started forecasting crop size using technologies and recently forecast wheat crop in Nigeria, Krishna Kumar said.
Hemendra Mathur, an agtech investor and industry expert said start-ups with data-centric models such as SatSure, Cropin, AgNext, IntelloLabs among others don’t have a choice but to go international to make it scalable and sustainable. By customising their solutions to the requirements of the different markets, they can go anywhere in the world. Countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, China and Africa are a big market for innovation where these companies may need some local partnership and guidance, Mathur said.
Taranjeet Singh Bhamra, Founder and CEO of AgNext, which offers quality assessment solutions for food and agri-commodity value chain, said the company is expanding its operations to Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates this month.
“For companies developing technologies for multi-diverse commodity value chain like India, there is immense potential in other markets. I don’t think the other nations have rich technology supply as what the experiments from India can deliver to those stakeholders. This is just a beginning for the companies, which have been working in the Indian market for the past 6-7 years and have matured in the Indian ecosystem quite strongly understanding the ground realities and client needs. Now, it is just tweaking in these geographies to meet the needs of various stakeholders. Also, the Indian companies will be able to better integrate and assimilate the technologies as a whole package and solution for multiple geographies,” Bhamra said.
All eyes on S-E Asia
AgNext, Bhamra said, is planning to take its solutions developed for commodity value chain like milk, spices and seeds overseas.
SatSure, a start-up working at the intersection of spacetech, artificial intelligence and software as a service, is looking at expanding its footprint in South and South-East Asia. It recently raised $5 million in pre-series A funding led by Baring and ADB Ventures, the venture arm of Asian Development Bank.
Similarly, precision ag-tech firm Fasal has plans to use the recently raised $4 million from investors such as 3one4 Capital and existing investors Omnivore and WaveMaker Partner to expand operations in S-E Asia.