Arya.ag, India’s largest integrated grain commerce platform, said it has closed its Series C round, having raised $60 million in a mix of equity and debt. The equity round was led by Asia Impact SA, Lightrock India and Quona Capital. The agritech platform also raised debt financing from the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) among others. The company has been valued at $300 million in this funding round, which is a 5X jump from its previous valuation.
Arya.ag connects sellers and buyers of agriproduce, providing complete assurance on quantity, quality and payments. The platform eliminates distress sales of farmers’ produce by enabling farmgate storage and seamless finance options, offering farmers the freedom of when and whom to sell to. With visibility into over 10,000 commodity storage points across the country, Arya assures year-round supply to SME and corporate buyers with embedded financing options.
“We have been able to digitise almost 10,000 agri warehouses across the country which are spread across 21 states. We provide digital identity to about Rs 12,000 crore worth of commodities that are there in these warehouses. You enable about Rs 5,000 crore worth of finance against these commodities that are in the warehouses. We are at a rate of enabling close to about Rs 1500 crore of sale of commodities on the platform,” said Arya co-founder and managing director Prasanna Rao.
“It is the expansion of these deliverables where the current funding round would be used. For instance, to ensure that this trading volume of Rs 1,500 crore goes up to about Rs 7,500 crore in the next 12 months.We are also expanding our reach from about 55 per cent of India's districts to about 75 per cent of the districts in the next 12 months. We are also working on integrating technology further to make these transactions, like digitisation of storage, adding embedded fintech layers and then enabling the commerce and commodity marketplace seamlessly,” said Rao.
The founders of Arya—Chattanathan Devarajan, Prasanna Rao and Anand Chandra—have decades of experience in agri-business and agri-finance. Under their leadership, Arya has worked towards the creation of trust, efficient networks, and enduring value for players across the value chain including small-holder farmers, FPOs (farmer producer organisations), small aggregators, and agribusiness corporations. With an established product-market fit with differentiated efficiencies, proven scale, and profitability managing over 3 million metric tons across 21 states, the company has created a strong foundation while building viable options for enhancing the market power of smallholders and their organizations. Arya intends to use the funding to capture 20 per cent of the $100 billion grain commerce market.
“This funding round will help us gain market share for our core offerings and add more services to consolidate our position as India’s most trusted platform in agriculture,” said Chattanathan Devarajan, Arya’s co-founder. “We believe that these partnerships, old and new, are an endorsement of Arya’s strength to drive penetration and lead transformation within the sector.”
Matteo Pusineri, director of Asia Impact SA said through the pandemic, the investment firm has seen Arya transform agri-commerce across India. “Arya will help accomplish Asia Impact's vision to integrate rural under-served farming communities across Asia to markets at scale,” said Pusineri. “We are confident that Arya, under the leadership of Prasanna Rao, Anand Chandra and Chattanathan Devarajan, will greatly contribute to a unique ecosystem supporting the sustainable growth story of rural India,” said Pusineri.
Another investor Vaidhehi Ravindran, partner at Lightrock India said Arya has built a strong and profitable foundation over the last few years, and with the addition of the marketplace are in a period of accelerated growth and impact. “With a team that is a great combination of innovation (meeting) prudent risk management, we are confident that Arya will transform the grain markets as a whole,” said Ravindran.
Varun Malhotra, partner at Quona Capital said Arya’s unparalleled reach across rural India, coupled with its tech-driven integrated service model, has made it one of the fastest-growing agri-commerce platforms in India. “Arya is successfully bridging the trust gap in post-harvest agri transactions through complete transparency and assurance on quality, quantity and payments. We are excited to deepen our partnership with Arya,” Malhotra.
Asia Impact SA was advised by Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co with a team led by Manav Nagaraj and KS Bhargava. Setuka Partners was the advisor on debt finance from US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).