Value chain

Boosting the value chain: how B2B marketplaces are reshaping agribusiness

Leveraging innovative and new era technologies, agritech startups are creating robust business-to-business (B2B) marketplaces with the goal of strengthening the end-to-end supply chain in agricultural food systems and production. Having faced a major setback during the pandemic, the sector is poised to take advantage of growing opportunities by offering benefits such as quality products at reasonable prices and reliable delivery schedules, coupled with the necessary standard credit terms.
Another benefit that rapid digitization has introduced is the power to build a strong, well-connected network. Companies can now find new prospects, customers, suppliers, and respond to the problems encountered by farmers on a daily basis. Farmers can now get the correct information, techniques and efficiencies from their networks for both pre-harvest applications and post-harvest requirements. Moreover, these markets provide a wide avenue for buying and selling.

“It is essential that we contribute to increasing the income of participants in the agricultural ecosystem – from farmers, farmer groups/FPOs to actors who enable better value discovery for farmers,” says Subhadeep Sanyal, Partner at Omnivore , an impact venture capital firm. “This is exactly what many B2B agritech startups are focusing on by providing farmers with better chances to discover prices, more information symmetry and market options, access to alternative channels to sell their products , finance, logistics, etc.” Omnivore has backed over 35 startups since 2011 and currently manages approximately $132 million across two funds.

Take for example Bijak, a B2B marketplace for agricultural products, which allows traders, wholesalers and food processors to determine counterparties, obtain better prices and access working capital. The startup works for accountability in the agricultural value chain through a buyer/seller rating system based on real-time transaction data. Platform users can take advantage of these ratings to trade with reliable counterparties. The app is used in 1,000 regions in 29 states and UT, has over 30,000 registered users, and oversees trade in over 100 products.

“Our belief in building a comprehensive B2B marketplace with a strong farmer-centric approach makes DeHaat unique and therefore a market leader,” said Shashank Kumar, co-founder and CEO of this comprehensive agritech company. It uses AI-based technologies to streamline the supply chain and improve production efficiency. “The current milestone of working with one million Indian farmers and over 1,000 agribusinesses in eight states is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the opportunities we foresee. Therefore, our 4-5x annual growth trajectory will continue,” Kumar says. DeHaat offers services ranging from the distribution of high-quality agricultural inputs and personalized agricultural advice to access to financial services and market links to sell the products.

Then there is AgNext which provides high-tech solutions for food quality assessment, monitoring and management. The company has innovated comprehensive solutions, based on a unique integration of adaptive hardware, embedded software and data analytics. “AgNext Technologies was established in 2016 to ensure ‘Quality Power for Billions’ by creating high-tech solutions tailored to specific market needs,” says Taranjeet Singh Bhamra, Founder and CEO of this growing B2B market. “We have innovated with AI-based solutions for instant food quality assessment to eliminate manual errors, testing delays and subjectivity, and drive fairer pricing across chains. food value,” he adds.

Agrim is a pandemic-born company that is building what it claims is the “largest digital platform for India’s $50 billion agri-input industry by directly connecting retailers to manufacturers. This B2B marketplace is currently operating in 500 districts with over 2,500 manufacturers and 170,000 retailers. “We took a customer-centric approach to creating the market,” says Mukul Garg, co-founder and CEO of Agrim. “Today we have over 100,000 retailers on the platform. Our retailers benefit from discovering a wide range of quality agricultural inputs at competitive prices and the convenience of door-to-door delivery through our alternative channel.

The solutions provided by a digital marketplace like ReshaMandi don’t falter where conventional setups do, says Mayank Tiwari, the company’s founder and CEO. ReshaMandi is a large, fast-growing B2B marketplace digitizing the natural fiber supply chain. It provides a complete digital ecosystem in the form of a super app, offering value-added services such as quality testing, technical advice, high-quality inputs and market links. ReshaMandi has onboarded over 35,000 small businesses including farmers, small and medium sized manufacturers and retailers. The startup’s processes have helped increase small business revenues by 35 to 55 percent and have dramatically pushed the use of native raw silk, Tiwari claims.