Nutreco invests in India based dairy-tech startup

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Hiroshi Watanabe
© GettyImages/Hiroshi Watanabe

Related tags India Dairy Nutreco

Stellapps has completed the first close towards its pre-series C round from various investors. Led by Dutch animal nutrition and feed group, Nutreco, the fundraising effort also saw participation from existing investors including Qualcomm Ventures, Celesta Capital, and ABB Technology Ventures.

The total size of the round will be US$18m.

Last week we ran a podcast interview​ with Ranjith Mukundan, CEO of Stellapps, to hear about how the company’s technology is designed to enable dairy farmers in India to increase productivity and efficiency. 

Founded in 2011 by five technology industry veterans who believed that IoT could transform rural India, the company said it plans to deploy the funds to rapidly scale-up its traceability network and extend its digital footprint in that market. 

The support of Nutreco will not only enable the startup to impact more farmers with its technology but will also help it to give farmers access to high quality cattle nutrition, said Mukundan. 

Challenges for smallholder farmers

Recent research ​indicates that India’s dairy market is set to increase by 6% between 2021 and 2026.

But, with two thirds of dairy farmers being smallholder dairy farmers, India’s dairy market has a large sustainability footprint and there is significant room for improvement, according to Stellapps.

Farmers with smaller herd sizes often face barriers when seeking to grow their businesses sustainably, including challenges such as financial support, accessing high quality products and services, and expanding their customer base, stressed the technology provider. 

By enabling ecosystem partnerships through its online platform, Stellapps wants to ensure farmers in India's dairy sector get access to financial services, quality nutrition and timely veterinary care. Its mooPay FinTech arm facilitates the financial inclusion of smallholder farmers by providing access to digital payments, banking, savings, cash withdrawal, credit and insurance.

Joost Matthijssen, director of venturing, Nutreco, said: “Smallholder farmers account for two-thirds of dairy farmers in India. Realizing the full genetic potential of their animals is crucial to significantly increase sustainable productivity of the Indian dairy value chain. Stellapps’ end-to-end digitized model can help to capture this growth potential by offering access to quality products, services, financing, and markets. If successful, this innovative model could help pave the way for similar applications in other key regions, such as Africa.”

Since 2019, Nutreco has made over 10 investments across Asia, Latin America, Australia, Europe and the US; it says such financial outlay is part of its ongoing commitment to support innovative new technologies that advance sustainability across the feed-to-farm value chain.

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