Gramophone Raises $3.5 Million

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Agricultural technology startup Gramophone, which provides actionable insights to farmers through its platform, has raised $3.5 million in its Series A round of funding from Info Edge (India) Ltd, impact investment firm Asha Impact, Better Capital and Raveen Sastry, the co-founder of fashion portal Myntra.com.

Gramophone, operated by Agstack Technologies Pvt. Ltd, was launched in 2016 by IIT-Kharagpur and IIM-Ahmedabad alumni Nishant Mahatre and Tauseef Khan. Both founders had stints in agri-tech companies and venture capital funds.

Info Edge, the parent of jobs platform Naukri.com and real estate website 99acres.com, had invested in the pre-series A round last year.

The startup had, in May 2017, had raised $1.5 million in angel money from a clutch of individual investors.

Gramophone provides farmers doorstep consultancy services in agronomy during the entire crop cycle through its app. The app provides information on crop diseases and nutrition, prices and weather information.

The company has also launched a prototype image recognition technology, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify diseases in a crop based on images shared by the farmer.

Gramophone is one of several agri-tech startups that have raised funds in recent years, as entrepreneurs and investors look for solutions to solve the myriad problems in India’s agriculture sector. Agricxlab, Eruvaka, CropIn, Crofarm, LeanAgri and Ecozen Solutions are among the agri-tech startups that have also raised funding over the past year. The most notable startup in this segment, however, is Ninjacart. The business-to-business agri-marketing platform raised $90 million from marquee US investment firm Tiger Global this year and around $35 million in a Series B funding round led by venture capital firm Accel and Swiss investor Syngenta Ventures in December last year.

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