Hydroponics-focused startup Nutrifresh raises $5 mn in pre-seed round

Nutrifresh Farm Tech India Pvt. Ltd, which operates agritech startup Nutrifresh, on Monday said it has raised $5 million (around Rs 39 crore) in a pre-series seed funding round led by Theodore Cleary (Archer Investments), Sandiip Bhammer (Green Frontier Capital), Sky Kurtz (Pure Harvest AE) and Mathew Cyriac (Florintree Advisors and ex-Blackstone India), among other investors.

The startup plans to deploy the fresh capital to scale up operations, implement better traceability and transparency of produce, marketing and creating an integrated farm-tech platform.

Founded by Sanket Mehta and Ganesh Nikam, Nutrifresh's aims to provide consistent pesticide-free hydroponic produce that is nutrient-rich. Its clientele includes over 100 plus business-to-business (B2B) aggregators in the Indian market such as Nature’s Basket, Big Basket, Swiggy, Kissan Konnect, McDonalds, Venky’s, Amazon Fresh and Reliance Fresh, among others.

“Nutrifresh is committed to bringing focused hydroponic farming which is robust, tech-enabled, IOT based and gives consistent production. The funding in the agritech space is proof of the concept encircling the fact that residue-free and quality veggies are most critical in an urban lifestyle and Nutrifresh is focused on bringing quality food security," said Mehta.

With the current round of funding, Nutrifresh aims to enhance the production capacities and standardize the production process thus, scaling farms with requisite SOPs to gain a higher competitive edge. Nutrifresh wants to establish itself as a household brand," he added. 

Senseing a growth opportunity in the hydroponic farming space, a variety of agritech startups and venture capitalists have started moving in this direction after 2015. Some other set-ups in this space include Goa-based Letcetra Agritech, Urban Kissan, Bitmantis Innovation, Ela Sustainable Solutions, Future Farms and Flipkart-backed NinjaCart.

“Agri and foodtech are both big focus areas for our climate mitigation-focused venture fund and we are constantly looking to explore and invest in innovative businesses with compelling models. Nutrifresh is all of these and more. But what struck us as being most unique about Nutrifresh was that it was building out an extensive knowledge repository on a wide variety of products through its proprietary agricultural operating system at the largest single-location controlled-environment agricultural facility in the western region of India (and directly selling to almost 15,000 households in the twin cities of Mumbai and Pune)," said Sandiip Bhammer, managing partner of Green Frontier Capital.

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