Agri-tech startup set to expand despite Covid
New Delhi AGRI-TECH startup Reshamandi is going ahead with its planned expansion despite the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, targeting to onboard around 2 lakh silk farmers on its platform in two years, according to a top company official.
The company, which works in the silk supply chain offering farmers to sell their produce by linking up with reelers and weavers, is also looking to raise its Series A capital this year to fund its footprint expansion, including in Africa. "From a two-year perspective, we are assuming that we will have at least 2 lakh farmers working on our platform across different states (in India)," Reshamandi Co-Founder and CEO Mayank Tiwari told PTI. Asked if the plans would not be altered due to the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, he said, "We are primarily agri-focussed company. We come under essential commodities, so it is not really impacting a lot for us. We have been able to move around, we have been able to see 300-400 per cent growth month on month."
Elaborating on the company's expansion plans, he said, "The farmers (using the company's platform) are primarily located in Karnataka and Andhra region right now. We are expanding our footprint now in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh further." As on today, he said, "We have 5,500 farmers on our platform. We work with around 250 plus reelers, around 200 weavers. We are currently working with 25 retailers."
On spreading global footprint, Tiwari said,"We are also looking to expand towards international geographies. We are in talks to go to Africa, where the farmers are also seeing similar challenges on the mulberry side. We are planning to expand towards that side as well to make sure that our global footprints are met with the domestic footprint."
When asked about funding, Tiwari said, "We raised around $1.7 million around January. Then we literally started expanding forward. We are looking at capital infusion. We are planning to raise our Series A and we are in talks now." On the amount that the Reshamandi is looking to raise, he said, "That is under discussion as to what would be the quantum of it. We will continue to raise capital at least this year to be able to foster our growth in the next two years."
Reshamandi provides its proprietary AI and IoT technology helping silk farmers with accurate weather information and solutions in order to produce high-quality cocoons.
The platform also provides farmers the avenue to purchase items required for successful mulberry plantation. According to the company, its platform has so far helped farmers sell over Rs 15 crore worth of cocoons (3 lakh kg), practically from their farms itself without the hassle of travelling to mandis.