Driven by the farm sector, India’s rural economy has continued to grow despite the pandemic. Agri-tech and digitalisation have played a tremendous role in recent times to facilitate this growth. Gurugram-based agritech startup Krishify, a mobile app-only networking platform dedicated to the farming community, is one such enabler with a user base of six million farmers and agri-facilitators.
Co-founder and CEO Rajesh Ranjan says, “Using the Krishify platform, a farmers’ Facebook of sorts, farmers interact with peers to exchange knowledge and best practices. It also enables transactions for the farming community across multiple verticals including livestock, used tractors, equipment, etc., in addition to providing an unmatched knowledge base.”
Founded by IIT graduates Rajesh Ranjan, Avinash Kumar and Manish Agrawal in 2019, the Krishify network connects farmers and other stakeholders of the agricultural ecosystem such as sellers, traders, lenders, suppliers, distributors and farm input manufacturers, in addition to potential buyers and sellers. Krishify provides curated and personalised information based on location and interests, facilitates peer-to-peer commerce, gets instant advice from agriculture experts, provides access to information repository on crops and information on government benefits, apart from providing a platform for buying and selling high quality farm inputs.
Ranjan, hailing from a family of farmer in Bihar, has first-hand experience of the challenges and shortcomings plaguing Indian agriculture. As he explains, the stakeholders in India’s farm sector face acute information asymmetry, and lack of awareness about efficient farming/dairy techniques, poor access to markets in crops and dairy, and limited options to buy farm input and equipment because most of their information sources are limited to their personal reach.
“This led to the idea of a farmer-centric networking community that would connect farmers across the country and give them access to information, facilitate transactions, credit, tools, and a host of other features,” he informs. “The uniqueness of the platform is that it is the only platform that focuses on the entire lifecycle of a farmer and thus supports him in every aspect of his life, be it related to cropping activities, dairy or any small business that he is a part of.”
Changing agricultural trends and the penetration of technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) into the agriculture ecosystem has laid out the benefits clearly to farmers and facilitators as they are becoming patrons and making the most of this networking platform in large numbers. “Krishify’s algorithm is such that farmers can list anything they want to sell, and it facilitates the match between potential sellers and buyers,” says Ranjan.
Around Rs 350 crore worth of
commodities is listed on the Krishify platform every month. Out of this, nearly Rs 100 crore is accounted by livestock, Rs 120 crore by tractors and other farm equipment, and the balance by other related agricultural inputs. In August 2021, Krishify raised $2.7 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by Omidyar Network India, Ankur Capital, and Orios Ventures riding on the back of its initial success.
In the coming years, AI will be critical in upgrading agricultural activities and achieving the objective of doubling farmer incomes, says Ranjan. In keeping with this trend, Krishify is working to further introduce a marketplace in order to close the gap between farmers and the sellers’ community including retail, small and medium businesses (SMB) and manufacturers. It aims to reach a base of 100 crore farmers in the next couple of years and enable transactions worth over Rs 1,000 crore in the next 18 months through this AI-enabled social commerce platform.