Fruits and vegetables are an important aspect of the Indian diet, but the profession is becoming more and more non-remunerative for country’s farmers. While there are robotic machines like GRoboMac that can detect, locate and pick the harvestable crops from farm, a lot of inefficiency is concentrated in the ‘post-harvest’ region in a farmer’s life cycle.
In the current scenario, a farmer typically ends up getting 25-33 per cent of the final retail price. Presently, a farmer has limited choice and is hence forced to sell to the nearest aggregator. As a result, there is a huge gap in the first selling price and the last buying price.
Mumbai-based White Shadow Technology aims to eliminate this unfairness with its online B2B marketplace for veg and fruits, Bharat Bazaar.
The startup has just raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from a clutch of prominent investors, including Singapore-based early-stage technology fund BeeNext and Co-founders of Snapdeal (Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal) and Freecharge (Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon).
Other notable names in the investor list include TV Mohandas Pai (Chairman, Manipal Global Education Services and Aarin Capital), Anupam Mittal (Co-founder of Shaadi.com), Amit Gupta (Co-founder of Inmobi) and Tracxn Labs.
Bharat Bazaar will use the funds to scale the team and expand into new cities, with an aim to reach 50,000 active users by December 2016.
“There has never been a better time to digitise agriculture in India. Supply channel bottlenecks and lack of a proper marketing channel are serious problems for a farmer who is already burdened with a host of troubles. These are the issues we plan to tackle at the regional, state and national levels,” said Co-founder Jain.
Founded in July 2015, Bharat Bazaar (erstwhile Truce-True Price) is a B2B marketplace app for fruits and vegetables. For the farmer, the app opens up a multitude of buyers, transcending locations and languages, making the entire process a hassle free experience. On the other hand, buyers get a a channel to reach out to a greater number of sellers, and thus ensuring a consistent supply of desired quality.
The startup partners with farmers, local aggregators, wholesalers, bulk buyers, food processing industries and exporters and has a buyer base in Maharashtra, Delhi, MP, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Rajasthan.
The app currently allows access and choice along with offline logistics, quality and payment facilitation.
“The grocery supply chain, in its current design, has a lot of middlemen and this presents a significant untapped opportunity to introduce efficiency across the whole value chain. By leveraging technology, Bharat Bazaar has streamlined end-to-end procurement processes. The B2B grocery delivery market for fruits & vegetables has a very large addressable market, with customers ranging from wholesalers, kirana stores, hyper markets, hotels, and B2C delivery startups,” said Neha Singh, Co-founder at Tracxn.