Korean AgriTech startup N.Thing, has raised $21 million in series B fundraising that is up from a $5 million in previous series that is secured $26 million in total. This has been runned as an additional round of series B funding, led by InterVest and Kiwoom Investment where are the follow-on investment from existing investors as well, and new participation from Ascendo Ventures, SL Investment, IGIS Asset Management and KT&G.
InterVest, one of the leading superb startup investors in Korea and now expanding their presence in Southeast Asia globally, led this fundraising as a financial investment party. E1, Korea’s innovative eco-friendly energy & LPG company, joined N.THING as a new strategic investor, which runs a mega ICT, energy and ESG related business fund. And KT&G, the leading tobacco company in South Korea also joined this round expecting to enrich the diversity of the crops and its market abroad. With this raise, N.THING aligned themselves with patient capital to expand their market globally based on their advanced farm solution.
The 7-year-old Seoul based company is one of the frontier of vertical farming, where vegetables are grown without pesticides, pollution and contamination all year round. N.Thing aims to encourage everyone to adopt farming by developing sustainable smart farm products and services. Started in 2014, N.Thing offers ‘CUBE’, a modular container vertical farm and its solution ‘CUBE OS’. In May 2021, N.Thing signed a deal with Sarya Holdings in the United Arab Emirates to construct a $3 million vertical farm within this year.
The Company will use its latest investment to execute its plans for global commercialization of ‘CUBE’ with cultivated crops and portfolio expansion. Near-term milestones include scaling-up the supply chain, growing operations, and expanding its product lines and technology platform both domestically and internationally. The Company is currently working with Emart, the largest retailer in Korea to distribute crops via newly built vertical farm units which will launch within this year in Icheon, Korea.
N.Thing will also collaborate to bolster Abu Dhabi’s long-term focus on food resilience. As a strategic partner to Sarya Holdings, N.Thing will evaluate the establishment of vertical farm clusters in Abu Dhabi to supply its cultivated crops across the UAE and the broader GCC region.
Jinwoo Song, a managing director at InterVest, said, “N.THING bears two key factors of beating the market such as enabling sustainable supply and accessibility to buyers, therefore we expect they can play a key role in shaping this agenda across global markets by innovating the food value chain. We are delighted to partner with them.”
Chris Lee, CFO of N.Thing, added, ” This round was very meaningful for our further growth and global expansion joined by strategic investors including KT&G highly supporting us to jump up to the world-class agri-tech entrepreneur that we had oriented from the beginning.”
N.Thing has recently opened its first smart farm showroom, ‘Sik Mul Sung Dosan’ in Seoul, the premium shop complex space with N.Thing’s flagship product while communicating with customers more closely and sharing the value and essence of the freshness.
“New capital from our current and new investors, and additional support of our long-term investor partners is concise of the critical need for new solutions to our agricultural system. This funding not only fuels our continued expansion but evaluating ESG(Environmental, Social, and Governance), food-miles eventually for digital transformation in agriculture.” said Leo Kim, CEO & founder of N.THING.
Established in January 2014, N.THING is a Seoul-based Agri-Food tech company leading innovation in agricultural products, by extension, in the farm-to-table food value chain by combining IoT technology and data. It developed the world’s first modular vertical farm ‘CUBE’ which is easy to expand. N.THING CUBE is a modularized farm with mass productivity where a dedicated OS provides the most optimized environment for each crop so as to create maximized efficiency. N.THING is the world’s first smart farming company that won the iF Design Award, Architecture in 2020. Also, it is a winner of Best of Innovation at the CES 2020 for its excellence in technology, which is the first ever in the agricultural field. N.THING is planning to expand its business on a large scale this year after it successfully completes the PoC process in the U.A.E.
India’s largest grain commerce platform, Arya.Ag, raises USD 60 Million Series C
Round led by Asia Impact SA & Lightrock India, Quona Capital and US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) among others
Arya, India’s largest integrated grain commerce platform, today announced the close of its Series C round, having raised USD 60 million in a mix of equity and debt. The equity round was led by Asia Impact SA, Lightrock India and Quona Capital. The agritech platform also raised debt financing from the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) among others.
Arya.ag connects sellers and buyers of agriproduce, providing complete assurance on quantity, quality and payments. The platform eliminates distress sales of farmers’ produce by enabling farmgate storage and seamless finance options, offering farmers the freedom of when and whom to sell to. With visibility into over 10,000 commodity storage points across the country, Arya assures year-round supply to SME and corporate buyers with embedded financing options.
Chattanathan Devarajan, Arya’s co-founder, said, “We have visibility on grains worth over USD 2 billion on the Arya platform, and this number is growing rapidly as we gather data from warehouses around the country. This funding round will help us gain market share for our core offerings and add more services to consolidate our position as India’s most trusted platform in agriculture. We believe that these partnerships, old and new, are an endorsement of Arya’s strength to drive penetration and lead transformation within the sector.”
“Through the pandemic, we have seen Arya transform agri-commerce across India,” said Matteo Pusineri, director of Asia Impact SA. “Arya will help accomplish Asia Impact’s vision to integrate rural under-served farming communities across Asia to markets at scale. We are confident that Arya, under the leadership of Prasanna Rao, Anand Chandra and Chattanathan Devarajan, will greatly contribute to a unique ecosystem supporting the sustainable growth story of rural India.”
“We are excited about our continued partnership with Arya as they build the largest grain platform in the country,” said Vaidhehi Ravindran, partner at Lightrock India. “They have built a strong and profitable foundation over the last few years, and with the addition of the marketplace are in a period of accelerated growth and impact. With a team that is a great combination of innovation meets prudent risk management, we are confident that Arya will transform the grain markets as a whole.”
“At Quona, we believe long-term structural changes can be accelerated by introducing more transparency,” said Varun Malhotra, partner at Quona Capital. “Arya’s unparalleled reach across rural India, coupled with its tech-driven integrated service model, has made it one of the fastest-growing agri-commerce platforms in India. Arya is successfully bridging the trust gap in post-harvest agri transactions through complete transparency and assurance on quality, quantity and payments. We are excited to deepen our partnership with Arya.”
The founders of Arya—Chattanathan Devarajan, Prasanna Rao and Anand Chandra—have decades of experience in agri-business and agri-finance. Under their leadership, Arya has worked towards the creation of trust, efficient networks, and enduring value for players across the value chain including small-holder farmers, FPOs, small aggregators, and agribusiness corporations. With an established product-market fit with differentiated efficiencies, proven scale, and profitability managing over 3 million metric tons across 21 states, the company has created a strong foundation while building viable options for enhancing the market power of smallholders and their organizations. Arya intends to use the funding to capture 20%+ of the USD 100 billion grain commerce market.
Asia Impact SA was advised by Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co with a team led by Manav Nagaraj and KS Bhargava. Setuka Partners was the advisor on debt finance from US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).
Arya.ag, India’s largest and fastest-growing integrated grain commerce that eliminates the trust deficit in the grain commerce value chain through its disruptive integrated PAN India platform that delivers value to all stakeholders by enabling access to high-quality produce, products, and services. Powered by an exponentially growing layer of visibility and control currently stretching across 425 districts in 21 states, 10,000 warehouses and USD 2 billion of grain, arya.ag offers the assurance of quality supply to buyers and on-time fair payment for their produce and allied services to seller. It seamlessly embeds finance to maximize value for both sellers and buyers and the platform facilitates over USD 600 Mn of finance annually. More at www.arya.ag
ABOUT ASIA IMPACT INVEST
Asia Impact SA is a Luxembourg based investment company promoting impact investments in India and SEA, in different sectors and at different development stages from start-up to growing/maturing.
Among the leading initiatives where Asia Impact is actively involved we are particularly proud to mention all CreditAccess’ microfinance companies in India and Southeast Asia. Further, Asia Impact structures investment initiatives in single business/companies (club deals) and is currently promoting a new Luxembourg SICAV fund, investing in public listed equity securities of Indian companies.
ABOUT LIGHTROCK INDIA
Lightrock India is the India-focused effort of the global Lightrock impact investing platform. Lightrock India was formed in September 2019 when the LGT group acquired Aspada – an investor in commercially scalable, high-impact businesses since 2012. Lightrock, globally, has operations across 4 continents with over 60 investments managing over $1.2B in assets with over 60 investment professionals, and is backed by the Princely House of Liechtenstein and LGT, the international private banking and asset management group. Visit www.aspada.com
Quona Capital is a venture firm focused on fintech for inclusion in emerging markets. Quona partners have deep experience as investors and operators in both emerging and developed markets, and look for entrepreneurs whose companies have the potential to provide outstanding financial returns and promote breakthrough innovation. Quona has supported nearly 50 financial technology companies expanding access for underserved consumers and small businesses in South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East (MENA). Quona got its start through a strategic relationship with Accion, a global nonprofit with a pioneering legacy in microfinance and fintech impact investing. More at quona.com.
About U.S. International Development Finance Corporation
U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is America’s development bank. DFC partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. We invest across sectors including energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and technology. DFC also provides financing for small businesses and women entrepreneurs in order to create jobs in emerging markets. DFC investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights.
Sky's the Limit – Agri10x, blockchain-enabled, farmer e-marketplace eyes Rs 1,000 crore
World’s leading agritech company Agri10x is aggressively working towards boosting its GMV to INR 1,000 crore in the next two years. It has already crossed INR 100 crore GMV in less than a year. The Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain-enabled platform is considered India’s fastest growing e-marketplace that offers a one-stop solution for post harvest solutions.
The digital platform offers transparency, traceability and sustainability. Leveraging blockchain, the platform enables seamless transactions between supply chain participants that helps bring down the cost significantly. Attractive features like instant payment, quality assaying, competitive pricing, warehousing and logistics support has made Agri10x platform an instant hit amongst farmers, FPOs and traders. The platform also provides simplified payment solutions to ease the trade of agricultural products and services.
Agri10x currently caters to B2B segment and plans to foray into the B2C market soon. Its disruptive innovations and strategic approaches have benefited its major stakeholders mainly farmers.
The promising start-up aims to transform the roots of Indian agriculture by systematically integrating the entire agribusiness ecosystem and aspires to become a unicorn company in the near future.
Continuing its strong growth trajectory, Agri10x is determined to serve the farming community across India by helping them double their income and offer multi-fold services to them. The company is exporting a wide range of locally produced premium quality fruits, vegetables, grains, pulses, dry fruits and spices, thus earning recognition for Indian farmers and their produce, on the global front.
Agri10x is especially steadily increasing its foothold in various Southeast Asian and Middle East countries including Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, Qatar, Dubai, Oman, Cambodia and Indonesia.
Back home, the agtech company is expanding its local base across various regions including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, UP, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Tripura to name a few.
Well-known for its efficacious post-harvest management solutions, Agri10x will soon be offering an array of integrated pre-harvest services like advanced soil testing, quality inputs like seeds and fertilizers etc. to benefit the farmers.
“We are happy to announce that our business is steadily growing that offers value propositions to farmers. We are excited about India’s agriculture economy that is stimulated due to the digital transformation and infra development in rural India. We will continue to focus on value creation and ease of doing business in the modern global village,” said Mr. Srinibas Swain, CGO, Agri10x.
Agri10x is the world’s first Artificial Intelligence & Blockchain enabled global e-marketplace connecting farmers with traders. The fastest growing agritech company worldwide with an extensive data bank, Agri10x offers 360 degree agricultural solutions, ranging from pre-harvest to post-harvest.
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