AgroStar is retrying agri commerce with offline push

AgroStar is retrying agri commerce with offline push

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Supriya Roy

41 reads
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Supriya Roy

41 reads

The Pune-based startup, one of the earliest movers in agritech, hit the wall in online sales of farm inputs as deliveries took time. It has now managed to get going by building a chain of offline stores and buying an export business. AgroStar is eyeing Rs 1,000 crore in total revenues in FY23

November 24, 2022

7 MINS READ

Most agritech origin stories tread a familiar path. Long, hard years of legwork to build ties with farmers and a gradual rollout of products or services, which improve what they cultivate and earn and organise supply chains. AgroStar’s journey, though, was different. 

The Pune-based startup’s parent entity, Ulink BioEnergy, began manufacturing organic fertilisers almost from the word go in 2008, the year of inception. Five years later, the AgroStar platform was formally launched to provide farmers with advice on crops and best practices. Then in 2016, it got into online sales of agricultural inputs, from seeds to tools. 

Farming-focused ecommerce, with private labels and market brands, ranked as an ambitious effort by one of the country’s earliest agritechs. But like other players, whether digital-first or ops-heavy, it also struggled with the question of scale and monetisation. Growers do not have the luxury of waiting four days for the delivery of raw materials, so ramping up this business is always a stern challenge.

These bumps drove AgroStar’s founders, brothers Shardul Sheth and Sitanshu Sheth, to finally take the omnichannel route in agri commerce. Last year, AgroStar opened its first offline store to sell inputs. The development was followed by a funding boost of $70 million (Series D), its largest round so far.

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