Agritech startup Produze has secured seed funding of $2.6 million. The company will use the money to connect Indian farm producers and global retailers.
With the intention of bridging the gap between rural farmers and global merchants, Produze, a startup, has acquired $2.6 million in seed funding from venture capital firms Accel and All In Capital.
The money raised, according to Produze’s co-founder and CEO Ben Mathew, will be used to expand the company’s distribution network, tech staff, and purchasing resources.
A B2B portal called Produze enables agricultural producers, such as farmers, processors, and packing houses, to sell directly to foreign retailers. Mathew and Gaurav Agrawal, Rakesh Sasidharan, and Emil Soman, all former Ninjacart executives, formed it in February 2022.
According to Mathew, Produze’s platform is currently live and accepting store and farmer applications. “We currently buy directly from Indian producers in order to service a few large merchants and wholesalers in the Middle East region. Moreover, we are now doing this with pulses and spices, and we will debut fruits and vegetables as well the next week.”
Produze aims to provide merchants with conveniently available, affordably priced goods of exceptional quality and manufacturers with better profit through international distribution.
The company claims that by offering a range of agricultural food categories in countries around North America, Europe, and the Middle East, it will service a $143 billion market.
Pratik Agarwal, principal at Accel, stated, “Accel is excited to collaborate with the Produze team to digitise global agriculture trade. We think that Produze’s technology and knowledge of the supply chain may assist customers in finding more affordable fresh farm food while fairly compensating the growers.”
According to Mathew, the Produze team currently consists of eight people, including the founders, and as they grow, they want to use less labour and more technology.
He added, “We want to build a lean organisation that operates with a lean workforce and more technology. We expect to employ no more than 30 people and make $50–$60 million in sales over the next 1.5 years, even if we decide to grow.”
According to the co-founder, B2B enterprises like Produze would experience growth if profitability came first. With contrast to B2C enterprises, where you can initially be unprofitable and ultimately charge the customer for profits, Mathew asserts that in B2B businesses, it’s imperative to be profitable from day one.
He stated, “In the current context, the majority of utilisation is achieved through discounts or engaging in ineffective activities. We don’t want to focus on that because, in our opinion, it is unsustainable, especially in B2B.”
Angel investors from companies including Ninjacart CEO Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Fashinza CEO Pawan Gupta, and CityMall Co-Founder Angad Kikla, among others, took part in Produze’s seed round.