Hyderabad : Our Food, an AgriTech startup with innovative, low-cost, and decentralized mini food processing units, has raised USD $6M in growth funding. The company plans to ramp up operations, increase manufacturing capacity and vastly improve the agricultural food supply chain that sees an estimated $5B annual post-harvest wastage in India. This funding round is led by existing investor, 3Lines Venture Capital, and a new investor, C4D Asia Fund. Lalit Jalan, 3Lines India Chairman and ex-CEO of Reliance Infrastructure, will join the company’s Board of Directors.
Over 1,700 rural entrepreneurs have licensed Our Food Farmer Franchises, each operating a regional crop-specific processing unit that procures and processes raw material from over a hundred farmers from nearby villages. Each Farmer Franchisee is powered with an end-to-end tech-enabled solution, starting with the establishment of a single mini food processing unit, access to equipment financing, training in processing, and marketing of the processed output. Our Food has a presence in 12 states in India, primarily concentrating in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Karnataka. The company has processing units for over 15 crops, including pulses, cereals, spices, groundnut, and plans to expand its crop portfolio.
“Our Food value proposition is a triple play for the rural youth who operate franchises, for farmers who can increase their income through direct supply, and for the business buyers who can offer higher quality to their consumers”, said Lalit Jalan. “Our Food has seen a growth of over 100x in its decentralized processing over the last two years signaling a disruptive trend in Mini Food Processing”, Lalit further added.
“Our Food is the first successful model in India that has been able to scale decentralized processing of agricultural products. In-house design and manufacturing of the processing units, coupled with financing and buyback guarantee of the produce, has set up Our Food to become a pan India company in no time”, said Arvind Agarwal (CEO, C4D Partners). “Decentralized agri-processing is the key to achieving the objective of doubling farmers income in India”, Arvind further added.
“Majority of the value gained from pre-processing, reducing post-harvest wastage and supply chain disintermediation is shared between the franchise operator and the farmer that supplies the unprocessed harvest. To bring food processing closer to the farm is the mission Our Food team has worked tirelessly over the past five years and has fine-tuned the business model to develop innovative ideas in manufacturing, food processing operations, financing, and B2B/B2C sales”, said Bala Reddy, the Founder, and CEO of Our Food. “This capital infusion will help us boost our capacity to over 6,000 operational franchises, gives us the right ammunition to significantly disrupt the food processing industry and position us for an IPO in 2024”, Mr. Bala Reddy added.