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Digicides in discussions to raise $2.5-3 M seed funding

digicides funding

Agritech startup Digicides is in discussions to raise $2.5-3 million in seed funding from agriculture-focused investors like Omnivore and Indigram Labs, people aware of the development said.

Established in 2017 by Dipanjan Dean Dutta and Saswati Bag, Digicides is a rural-first content platform that lets organizations send agri-related information via text messages, WhatsApp, and phone calls to farmers. It has a range of products that enables organizations to talk to farmers and send them product, weather, or market-related information.

The platform also renders educational training for the 16 million farmers that Digicides has reached out to over the last four years. The company stated it has about 57 large clients in the rural-focused fertilizer, seeds, crop protection, and FMCG industries.

“Around 120-plus small and mid-segment regional companies also use the platform to do hyperlocal, targeted communication with the farmers,” said Dutta, who is also the chief executive of the company. He declined to give details of the planned fundraising.

The Covid-19 pandemic has boosted digital adoption in rural and semi-urban markets. Tier-II and Tier III towns have witnessed a consumption explosion in the last 12 months.

“One of our products—DigiNews—saw huge adoption and applause from the Agri industry, with over 1.1 crore farmers reaching out via the platform. Training sessions were imparted to them by various organizations and the government at regular intervals,” Dutta said.

With over 58% of the country’s population reliant on agriculture for their livelihood, India has observed an outburst in the agritech startup ecosystem. Over 1,000 companies have been established to address the unmet needs of the sector.

In a December 2020 report, venture capital firms Accel and Omnivore stated that smartphone penetration increased in rural India from 9% in 2015 to 25% in 2018 when it registered a 35% year-on-year growth.

More than 30 million farmers use smartphones today—unlocking easier means of communicating with them and obtaining live data from the ground, the report titled ‘Post-Covid Landscape in India’ pointed out.

Digicides appears to be an interesting platform in the agritech space offering some unique and innovative services. I believe the startup will benefit several farmers and would continue to grow even more. My best wishes to the team of Digicides.

Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO, StartupLanes

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