Bridging farmers and markets; 5 innovative business models
In the midst of completing a series focused on India’s burgeoning Agriculture revolution, we came across a number of companies stepping up to address the gaps across the value chain. While a number of start-ups working to improve agricultural yield or to help reduce waste were explored in 50 Venture Backed Companies Transforming Ag, a few stood out and were worthy of additional attention. The following list represents quick introductions to five Agriculture companies which really stood out.
Frontal Rain offers affordable, cloud-based supply chain software for agribusiness and food processing companies on the cloud. Through their primary product offering, Rain+, large companies enjoy a comprehensive suite of services while smaller agri-business companies are able to benefit from select portions of services.
Established by three senior executives from SAP with over 50 years of combined enterprise software experience, Frontal Rain is committed to helping emerging food and agribusiness companies grow rapidly through the use of advanced technological solutions that were previously only available to large agribusinesses.
Ubio is a biopharmaceutical company developing innovative solutions within medical, veterinary and food diagnostics. Located in Kerala India, Ubio aims to provide affordable and accurate diagnostic products for diseases seriously impact the economy of developing countries.
From R&D through manufacturing, Ubio uses the latest technology to develop accurate point of care diagnostic tools for the medical and veterinary areas of agribusiness. Ubio is the only company in India manufacturing animal health diagnostic equipment.
I Say Organic
I Say Organic believes in giving people the option of eating safe food, grown without toxic chemicals or pesticides, while recognizing and supporting farmers who grow this food. To accomplish this, I Say Organic partners with producer companies to connect farmers who want to grow organic products with customers who want to buy organic. In December 2011, I Say Organic entered into a partnership with its first farmer group, Dharani Suphalam in Sirsa, Harayana.
Their model focuses on developing a market driven approach for organic farming, believing that the biggest challenge for organic farming today is market linkage. Since March 2012, they have been delivering fresh organic produce across Delhi, employing the philosophy that organic produce should be easily and conveniently available, and as easy as making a phone call. Their partnership model is structured to equally divide responsibility between I Say Organic and producer groups for the purpose of self-reliance and sustainability of their farms and livelihoods.
Skymet is the first private weather forecasting service available via mobile phone. Believing that climate data and forecasting should be readily available for all, Skymet uses a cloud-based service model to provide clients affordable access to real-time information so that farmers can understand and organize themselves around the always-changing weather environments. Today, Skymet can provide accurate forecasts at the village level as well as provide reliable seasonal forecasts seven months out, including the monsoon seasons.
Through research and analysis by some of India’s finest weather scientists, Skymet has created weather-based business solutions for media, power, shipping and telecom. They also provide risk management services to power, renewable energy (wind and solar), aviation, construction and the food & beverage industry in India. Skymet is backed by Omnivore, a venture fund focused on early stage agriculture and food companies in India.
Knids Green KPGL
Knids Green KPGL is streamlining the vegetable value chain for opportunity and convenience. Started in 2008 as a small startup with an idea for refrigerated street carts for selling vegetables, Knids Green has taken big strides towards achieving its goal of organizing the fresh vegetable supply chain with more than 3,000 farmers and 500 vendors.
Operating out of Bihar, India, the core product of KGPL is providing convenience to all its stakeholders, through different products and processes, for the procurement of vegetables from small growers. They do so by empowering street vendors and growers to achieve livelihood security, generate higher incomes, provide social security, and generate livelihood opportunities by creating market space, shopping malls, bazaars, and other market areas in order to connect street vendors and growers to the mainstream market.