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From fragmentation to integration: Stellapps’ Indian dairy revolution

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Vidhya Sivaramakrishnan

22 reads
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Vidhya Sivaramakrishnan

22 reads

With over Rs 300 crore in revenue in FY23—a 3X increase compared to the previous fiscal—Stellapps is revolutionising India’s dairy industry one farm at a time. Now, as it seeks to close a fresh $20 million round of funding, its ambitions are no longer just domestic but international as well.

December 06, 2023

11 MINS READ

Key Takeaways

  • FY23 was a breakthrough year for Stellapps. Its revenue grew 3X to over Rs 300 crore
  • After several pivots, the startup appears to finally have a business model that’s able to withstand the various challenges posed by India’s fragmented dairy industry
  • Now, It’s looking to raise its next funding round to support both its domestic and international expansion plans
  • Scaling to the next stage, though, will be challenging given the operations-heavy nature of its business

From a milk-deficit nation reliant on imports in the 1950s-60s, India has evolved into the world’s largest milk supplier. Today, it accounts for about a quarter of the world’s milk production. For all this growth, however, India’s dairy industry is best described as fragmented.

For 12-year-old Stellapps Technologies Private Limited, this fragmentation is an opportunity. The Bengaluru-headquartered startup is attempting to stitch India’s splintered dairy ecosystem into one cohesive tapestry—one cow and village at a time. Its end-to-end dairy technology stack—a combination of hardware, software, and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions—is aimed at improving productivity, quality, and traceability across the dairy supply chain.

“The vision is to build a digital dairy exchange which connects a farmer to a consumer,” says Ranjith Mukundan, co-founder and CEO of Stellapps, in a conversation with The CapTable. This isn’t a task for the faint-hearted. There are over 80 million people employed in this sector, a majority of whom are landless or small and marginal farmers, as per the government’s estimates. This makes tech enablement of the different parts of the supply chain an unenviable task. Things only get more complicated since cattle are milked twice a day and milk is highly perishable.

For all of this, however, Mukundan is clear that digitisation is the only way forward. “It’s not like the large, high-calibre farms in the US, Europe, Israel, and New Zealand. Sitting in Bangalore, if I’m to monitor the quality of every village, every cow, and every farmer who is producing milk, the only way to make it work at scale without the loss of supply chain integrity is to go digital, especially when the fragmentation is mind-boggling.”

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