Unnati: Building a fintech-driven agri ecosystem

This startup is enhancing farmers’ lives and livelihoods through increased access to credit and end-to-end support

Amit Sinha
Amit Sinha

It is a well-known fact that agriculture is one of the primary employers and contributes significantly to the country’s economy. Being a predominantly agrarian economy, one might think that farmers and retailers have ample income, good produce, and easy access to credit and marketplaces. Unfortunately, for a majority of the country’s farmers, this isn’t the scenario. Several farmers face challenges in access to credit, marketplaces, quality farm inputs, and guidance to improve their crop yield. Additionally, agriculture has also been one of the last industries to integrate technology into its operations.

This was when Ashok Prasad and Amit Sinha decided to launch Unnati, a new-age fintech powered agritech platform that had robust technology infrastructure and could enable farmers to boost their livelihoods. Having closely witnessed the issues faced by farmers, including the unavailability of high-quality farm input products, insights on market requirements and linkages, the lack of technology innovation in the agriculture space, and the challenges they face in managing operations, the duo decided to launch Unnati.

A fintech-driven agriculture ecosystem, Unnati, founded in 2017, is committed to enabling farmers to improve their livelihood through data-driven decisions, easy access to credit, and better market linkages, says Sinha, the co-founder. An alumnus of IIT and IIM, he has had stints with several notable organisations, including Infosys, Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), Bharti Airtel, and Paytm. On the other hand, Prasad holds an MS in Software Systems from Birla Institute of Technology and Science and an MBA in International Business from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade.

With a farming model that acts as a guide for farmers, allowing them to make informed decisions regarding crucial aspects such as plant protection, weed management, nutrient usage, maximising output, and predicting market conditions, Unnati is looking to empower them with the knowledge required to boost their incomes through better yields. Within four years, the tech-driven platform has achieved a growth trajectory that is nothing short of remarkable, says Sinha.

Today, Unnati has a digital presence in all major states in the country with a network of over 20,000 uStores and is associated with prominent brands that ensure steady supply of high-quality inputs. Additionally, the platform has impacted the lives of over three lakh farmers by allowing them to procure farm inputs, and offering market linkages credit access, and predictive diagnostics that help in maintaining a high quality of produce. Having facilitated farmers to build financial resilience and strengthening the agri value chain.

According to Sinha, Unnati is acting as a one-stop solution for both farmers and retailers to help them streamline the business process.
“The platform also facilitates better payment methods and supply chain management of inputs as per the demand,” he says.

With a 16x growth rate year-on-year, Unnati recently received a funding of `60 crore as a part of its Series A round from Incofin Investment Management, NabVentures, and Orios. Setting its sights on further growth, Unnati plans to continue expanding its footprint geographically in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Haryana, and Punjab by increasing its network of uStores.

“The platform is looking to augment its offerings to address the issues faced by farmers in agronomy and help them streamline their business while maximising profitability,” concludes Sinha.

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