Agri-tech startup Stellapps raises Series B funding
Stellapps Technologies Pvt. Ltd, an Internet of Things (IoT) firm which operates in the dairy space, has raised an undisclosed amount in Series B funding from a clutch of investors.
The company said in a statement that the round was led by IndusAge Partners along with the philanthropic Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Qualcomm Ventures (the investment arm of chip-maker Qualcomm Inc), and ABB Technology Ventures.
Existing investors Omnivore, Blume Ventures, Venture Highway, and BEENEXT also participated in the round.
Flipkart Group chief executive officer Binny Bansal is one of Stellapps' backers.
The firm had raised its Series A round of funding last July.
The company said it will use the fresh capital to scale its global efforts to improve dairy farmer income through its IoT-led automation platform.
“We are looking to digitise the dairy value chain and drive efficiencies for farmers and milk processors in the Indian dairy market,” said co-founder and chief executive Mukundan.
Stellapps develops solutions for the dairy industry and claims to have built a full-stack IoT platform that spans the entire value chain, including precision farming, milk procurement, cold chain logistics and processing.
Several applications are available on its platform, including SmartFarms (milk production), smartAMCU (milk procurement), ConTrak (milk cold chain), AgRupay (dairy farmer wallet) and MooKare (animal insurance).
Stellapps counts several dairy farms, cooperatives and private dairies operating in India, Nepal, Kenya, Bulgaria, Russia and France among its clients.
"Stellapps team has already deployed a scalable IoT-led platform reaching over 750,000 smallholder farmers on a daily basis,” said Sudhir Rao, managing partner of IndusAge Partners.
The agri-tech firm was originally incubated at Indian Institute of Technology-Madras. It was founded in 2011 by Ranjith Mukundan, Praveen Nale, Ravishankar Shiroor, Ramakrishna Adukuri, and Venkatesh Seshasayee.
IndusAge Partners is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm focused on technology. The firm was promoted by former Intel Capital head Sriram Viswanathan. Its portfolio companies include AxSys Health and Market Simplified India Ltd.
For Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Stellapps deal marks its first equity investment in India through its Program-Related Investment (PRI) team in London.
The Foundation recently pledged money to the Bharat Inclusion Initiative project started by the incubation centre at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
Swedish-Swiss digital company ABB Group is also making its first equity investment in India through its venture capital unit, ABB Technology Ventures.
"This investment enables ABB to go-to market in India with a cloud-connected, IoT-led, digital dairy solution " said Grant Allen, Managing Director at ABB Technology Ventures.
Qualcomm has previously backed Indian companies such as Housing.com, Portea, AppsDaily and Capillary Technologies.
The US-headquartered chipmaker had announced in September 2015 that it would create an India-dedicated ‘strategic’ fund to invest $150 million (Rs 992 crore) in startups.