In Startup50 2017: Aibono Smart Farming, an agri-tech company, made it to Startup50 2017 for building a venture that offers farm-related intelligence, technology, expertise and gadgets to farmers, and the company has helped increase farm yield by nearly 50 per cent for over 200 farmers it works with in the Nilgiri hills in Tamil Nadu.
Founders: Vivek Rajkumar
An important idea: Aibono was recently awarded the Best Social Enterprise Start-up Award, at ET Startup awards 2017, for building one of India’s first ‘Smart Farming Collectives’, a novel Internet Cooperative of Farmers that combines small farmers and enables improvement of yield, return-on-effort and the overall economics of farming. They do so by leveraging the rapid growth of the Internet in Rural India and aggregating farmers into their ‘Farmer Collectives’ and offers the collective an Internet-based Shared-Services Platform that delivers data, intelligence, etc. Aibono’s work does not end there. The company also runs an intelligent supply chain, to sell the aggregated produce to buyers to ensure a larger portion of the market price reaches the farmer, thus increasing the earning potential of every farmer in the collective.
Marquee Investors: Aibono, thanks to the growing importance of its offering to farmers, has raised capital from Bay Area-based Milliways, 3one4Capital (spearheaded by Pranav Pai), Fireside Ventures, M. M. Murugappan (Vice Chairman, Murugappa Group), Lakshmi Venu (Director, TAFE) and Sriram Viji (Deputy Managing Director, TVS Brakes India)
Full stack farm management: Borrowing a term from the world of software development, Aibono specializes in a “full stack” approach, where it serves each farm collective with data and intelligence to drive the entire supply chain, including produce and sale. Since 85 per cent of India’s farmers own less than 2 acres of land, combining farmers into a collective, helps them take advantage of economies of scale both in terms of costs and revenue.
- Serves 200+ farmers in 6 farm collectives (Full stack farm management and farm-to-fork supply chain)
- Made it to Startup50 on the back of building on an important idea to serve small farmers in India by forming a collective
- The company is currently on track to deliver a revenue run rate of US $1.5 million this fiscal.