Cambridge-based agritech company KisanHub has raised £1.12m for its seed to sale connectivity platform that is accelerating the pace of digital transformation of the agri-food industry. KisanHub’s supply chain management platform makes use of big data and machine learning in order to help growers, field staff, procurement managers and management teams make informed decisions.
The Future Fund round was led by Low Carbon Innovation Fund 2 (LCIF2) with backing from the Future Fund and was supported by the existing investors, including IQ Capital, Notion Capital, and Sistema_VC. The funds are intended to help the company accelerate its business in the UK and Europe and further promote the values of sustainability in food supply chains with the support from government investors.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) underlined the importance of keeping food supply chains stable in order to guarantee food safety, especially during and after the pandemic. KisanHub’s technology helps to address the key logistical bottlenecks. According to Gartner, the top ten strategic technology trends for 2020 include hyperautomation, transparency and traceability, among others. KisanHub is adopting these for the future of the supply chain.
KisanHub’s cloud-based enterprise platform focuses on crop intelligence, supply chain intelligence, integrating data from crops, stores, load dispatches, satellites and field sensors in order to help businesses meet contractual obligations on quality and quantity of the produce. It translates raw and complex food supply chain data sets into actionable insights that provide transparency and improves the flow of information within the supply chain.
“KisanHub technology digitises the agricultural supply chain, improving the transparency and efficiency of the procurement process. The pandemic has only increased the demand for such solutions, as food supply security became more important than ever. Many risks, including seasonal and climatic ones, can be averted through the use of sensors and machine learning, and this is what KisanHub does,” said Dmitry Filatov, Managing Partner at Sistema_VC.
KisanHub’s target customers are agricultural enterprises supplying retailers and processors that work with a network of contract farmers and/or own their own farmland. The company is able to integrate enterprises’ existing software or Excel systems in order to provide an end to end supply chain management solution. The global beverage giant, ABInBev, has implemented the platform in order to connect with the growers and achieve its 2025 sustainability goals. In addition, the major British suppliers like Spearhead, Burgess Farm Produce, Manor Fresh, Jupiter Group, have partnered with KisanHub to get full visibility of the quality and quantity of the produce in their supply chain.
LCIF2 is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, with the UK Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government as the Managing Authority. The fund is managed by Turquoise, the London-based merchant bank that specialises in energy, environment and efficiency.
Axel de Mégille, director at Turquoise (managing LCIF2), commented: “KisanHub helps keep everyone in the supply chain aware of the state of each batch of produce they are growing, aggregating or retailing, so that they can plan better and reduce waste. This investment fits well into LCIF2’s strategy of investing into technologies that help to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs).”
Sachin Shende, co-founder and CEO of KisanHub, added: “We are delighted to welcome LCIF2 as an investor in KisanHub. This investment will enable us to grow the business in the UK and Europe and strengthen our links with local and national governments.”
LCIF2 is managed by Turquoise, the London-based merchant bank that specialises in energy, environment and efficiency. It is a venture capital fund that invests in eligible small to medium-sized businesses based in England, particularly in the areas covered by its local government backers, developing products and services that will have a positive environmental impact.
LCIF2 is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), following a successful bid by Norfolk County Council and the University of East Anglia. ERDF is an investment programme that is part financed by the European Union. LCIF2 is part of the UK government’s portfolio of business support products.
LCIF2 has received £10.9m (for co-investment alongside private monies) from the European Regional Development Fund, as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for this funding. Established by the European Union, the ERDF helps local areas stimulate their own economic development by investing in projects that will support innovation and businesses, as well as creating jobs and regenerating local communities. For more information, visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding