Agri-fintech start-up KiVi, operated by Agrosperity Tech Solutions Pvt Ltd, has raised ₹15 crore in a seed round from investors led by Caspian Leap for Agriculture Fund, Piper Serica Angel Fund, YAN Angel Fund, Impact Innovators and Entrepreneurs Foundation, among others.

The IIT-Madras Research Park incubated firm, which commenced its operations in April 2022, plans to utilise the fund to build an AUM of ₹70 crore over the next 12 months, up from a little over ₹5 crore now. It is also planning to obtain an NBFC license, a move that may help it forge co-lending pacts with banks and other lenders.

It plans to enable 10,000 farmer loans and 400 enterprise loans in the next one year.

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The start-up has already onboarded about 3,700 farmers from Tamil Nadu and Bihar and enabled disbursements of ₹6.5 crore worth of loans to more than 2,000 farmers. The company has five lending partners, including Federal Bank, EASF Small Finance Bank, and Samunnati.

The start-up was established to serve the farmgate ecosystem comprising farmer households and agri entrepreneurs such as input retailers, output aggregators, farmer producer organisations, and equipment renters. KiVi connects suppliers and consumers of capital suppliers, and buyers of agri commodities.

“While the farmgate ecosystem presents a huge market opportunity for credit and commerce, it has been under-served by the formal markets due to a lack of solutions that serve the needs of the stakeholders,” Joby CO, Founder & CEO of KiVi, said.

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“Microfinance loans are not suitable for farmers and agri entrepreneurs, while farmers and agri entrepreneurs did not have market linkage services to effectively sell their output at the farmgate. On the supply side, financial institutions are keen to lend to the agri sector but do not have the capability to lend to the sector. KiVi platform is addressing these gaps,” he added.

Supported by its last mile capability, KiVi takes into account seasonal cash flows, the absence of formal income proof and land ownership proof, and fragmented landholding to design loan and repayment solutions for rural farmers and agri entrepreneurs.

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While loan ticket size varies from ₹25,000 to ₹1.2 lakh, the average size of the loan, enabled by KiVi, is about ₹40,000. While 20 per cent of its customers are new to the credit system, about 80 per cent of the customers are seeking loans from private lenders. Earlier, they were seeking loans under priority sector lending from banks as well as MFIs.

Founders of the start-up worked in the financial sector with expertise in rural lending and agri supply chain. KiVi has plans to forge more partnerships with banks and financial institutions.