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Agriculture tech startup KisanHub raises $1M Seed

TechCrunch TechCrunch 6/07/2016 Steve O'Hear

Agriculture tech startup KisanHub is on a mission to make farming more ‘connected’ to help farmers “grow more and use less,” says co-founder and CEO Sachin Shende.

The Cambridge, UK-based company, which has closed $1 million in Seed funding led by Notion Capital, has built a cloud-based enterprise farming platform for large farming companies that connects agronomic and operational data to enable smarter agriculture decision making.

“KisanHub blends diverse datasets like farm, crop, operation records, weather, satellite, commodities, farm machinery, sensors, among others, to provide data-driven decision points,” adds Shende.

“We make sense of such hugely heterogeneous datasets to generate and derive intelligent trends and patterns. The platform frees growers from managing and analysing complex data”.

Asked to explain how crunching this type of data translates into practical farming, the KisanHub CEO and ex-farmer says that it could involve blending farm location, crop, and weather data to forecast pest or disease infestation on a particular crop. The advantage here is that identifying risk and early spraying helps reduce the amount of pesticides sprayed on a crop and also reduce yield losses.

Another example might be blending field, crop, soil and weather data to identify how much irrigation is required and when. “Applying the right quantity of water at the right crop growth stage boosts yields,” he says.

In addition, certain field operations like spraying or fertilising can be done only in certain weather conditions. By using the KisanHub platform, farmers can plan farm activities better based on the predicted weather for a particular field or farm.

Meanwhile, Shende says that the startup’s typical customer is an enterprise that sources produce from a network of farmers and supplies to either processors or supermarkets. “End users are individual farmers and the staff of the enterprise,” he says. KisanHub claims a user base of over 1,000 farmers and “multiple” large enterprises.

Noteworthy, strategic partner NIAB also contributed to KisanHub’s seed funding, which is to be used for R&D, sales and customer support. “NIAB is a major international centre for plant research, crop evaluation and agronomy. Under this strategic partnership agreement, KisanHub and NIAB are developing technical solutions that will be made available to farmers and farming enterprises in general,” says Shende.

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