Big data to deliver big change in the agri-food sector

Cambridge-based agri-tech company KisanHub has raised £1.12m for its seed to sale connectivity platform that is accelerating the pace of digital transformation of the agri-food industry.

KisanHub’s supply chain management  platform makes use of big data and machine learning in order to help growers, field staff, procurement managers and management teams make informed decisions.

The Future Fund round was led by Low Carbon Innovation Fund 2 (LCIF2) with backing from the Future Fund, and was supported by the existing investors, including IQ Capital, Notion Capital, and Sistema VC. The funds are intended to help the company accelerate its business in the UK and Europe and further promote the values of sustainability in food supply chains with the support from  government investors.

New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership is one of three LEPs represented on an Investment Advisory Panel for LCIF2 and acts as an advocate for the programme.

FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) underlined the importance of keeping food supply chains stable in order to guarantee food safety, especially during and after Covid-19. KisanHub’s technology helps to address the key logistical bottlenecks. According to Gartner, the top ten strategic technology trends for 2020 include hyperautomation, transparency and traceability, among others. KisanHub is adopting these for the future of the supply chain.

The business’s cloud-based enterprise platform focuses on crop intelligence, supply chain intelligence, integrating data from crops, stores, load dispatches, satellites and field sensors in order to help businesses meet contractual obligations on quality and quantity of the produce. It translates raw and complex food supply chain data sets into actionable insights that provide transparency and improves the flow of information within the supply chain.

Dmitry Filatov, Managing Partner at Sistema VC, said: “KisanHub technology digitises the agricultural supply chain, improving the transparency and efficiency of the procurement process. The pandemic has only increased the demand for such solutions, as food supply security became more important than ever.

“Many risks, including seasonal and climatic ones, can be averted through the use of sensors and machine learning, and this is what KisanHub does.”

KisanHub’s target customers are agricultural enterprises supplying retailers and processors that work with a network of contract farmers and/or own their own farmland. The company is able to integrate enterprises’ existing software or Excel systems to provide an end-to-end supply chain management solution.

Global beverage giant AB InBev has implemented the platform to connect with the growers and achieve its 2025 sustainability goals. In addition, major British suppliers like Spearhead, Burgess Farm Produce, Manor Fresh, Jupiter Group, have partnered with KisanHub to get full visibility of the quality and quantity of the produce in their supply chain.

LCIF2 is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, with the UK Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government as the Managing Authority. The fund is managed by Turquoise, the London-based merchant bank that specialises in energy, environment and efficiency.

Axel de Mégille, director at Turquoise, commented: “KisanHub helps keep everyone in the supply chain aware of the state of each batch of produce they are growing, aggregating or retailing, so that they can plan better and reduce waste. This investment fits well into LCIF2’s strategy of investing into technologies that help to reduce greenhouse gases.”

Sachin Shende, co-founder and CEO of KisanHub, added: “We are delighted to welcome LCIF2 as an investor in KisanHub. This investment will enable us to grow the business in the UK and Europe and strengthen our links with local and national governments.”

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