Hyderabad-based Our Food, a technology-driven agribusiness platform, has raised $6 million in a growth funding round led by existing investor 3Lines Venture Capital and a new investor, C4D Asia Fund. As part of the transaction, Lalit Jalan, 3Lines India Chairman and ex-CEO of Reliance Infrastructure, will join the company’s board of directors.
Prior to the current round, The startup had raised $200,000 in a seed round in 2018 from 3Lines and 10,000 Startups, a Nasscom initiative to support technology entrepreneurship in the country.
Founded in 2016 by IIM-Ahmedabad alumnus Bala Reddy with an aim to decentralize the food processing industry with an innovative farmer adoption and engagement supply-chain platform across the country.
Our Food is aiming to disrupt the traditional centralized food processing industry by establishing a network of “Farmer Franchises” that deploy new age, low-cost micro-processing units with the help of rural entrepreneurs to process the raw material at the farm gate.
At present, The Hyderabad-based agribusiness platform serves farmers in states, including Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Karnataka. It has processing units for more than 15 crops, including pulses, cereals, spices, groundnut, and plans to expand its crop portfolio in the near future.
Our Food claims 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.
According to Bala Reddy, The 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.
“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,” Bala Reddy said. “The current round will help us to boost capacity to over 6,000 operational franchises and position us for an IPO launch in 2024,” Bala adds.
According to the startup, the raised funds will be used to increase manufacturing capacity and improve India’s agricultural food supply chain, which sees about an estimated $5 billion worth of annual post-harvest wastage in India.
Speaking on the investment, Lalit Jalan from 3Lines Venture Capital, said: “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.”
“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,” Jalan adds.