Agrosperity Tech Solutions Private Limited’s agri-fintech startup, KiVi, has successfully closed its seed round, securing INR 15 crore in funding. The funding round was led by Caspian Leap for Agriculture Fund, with participation from Piper Serica Angel Fund, YAN Angel Fund, Impact Innovators and Entrepreneurs Foundation, among other notable investors. KiVi, incubated at IIT Madras Research Park, is dedicated to fostering farmer development and its name, KiVi, represents “kisan vikas.”
Sharing details about the seed round and the way forward, Mr. Joby C O, Founder & CEO said, “We are excited to welcome our first institutional investors who share KiVi’s vision to make agriculture a livelihood of choice by enabling credit, commerce and distribution to the farmgate ecosystem.”
In addition to Mr. Joby, a seasoned expert in rural leadership, KiVi’s founding team comprises Padmakumar K, Rajendra Kumar, Salil Nair, and Manoj Ramaswamy. Together, they contribute a wealth of expertise in various areas, including rural lending, agricultural commerce, rural technologies, and fundraising.
The farmgate ecosystem includes farmer households and agricultural entrepreneurs like input retailers, output aggregators, farmer producer organizations, and equipment renters. Despite offering substantial prospects for credit and commerce, the formal markets have not adequately served this ecosystem due to the absence of solutions tailored to the distinct characteristics of its stakeholders. Key challenges such as seasonal cash flows, the lack of formal income and land ownership proof, fragmented land ownership, and the traditional lenders’ inability to create a cost-effective delivery model and engage in adjacent commerce opportunities are the gaps that KiVi aims to bridge.
Joby further added, “KiVi enables timely, affordable and scale-based credit as well as commerce from the farmgate to the processor. We accomplish this by leveraging our technology and last mile transaction capability. Our technology platform assembles and integrates the latest technologies in identification, validation, consent, evaluation and monitoring to provide a seamless experience to all stakeholders. Our last mile capability provides the customer relationship interface that is critical to serve the agri and rural customer base.”
KiVi’s offerings have received early validation, with 80% of its customers accessing agricultural-specific loans for the first time. Furthermore, 60% of these customers have reported an increase in their income, and the company has achieved an impressive net promoter score of 77. Additionally, KiVi has formed strategic partnerships with prominent lending institutions.
KiVi currently operates in both Tamil Nadu and Bihar, facilitating over 1,500 farmers in accessing credit. They have also introduced MSME loan products for agricultural entrepreneurs and enabled commerce and trade finance for commodities such as wheat, paddy, and maize.
“We are excited about our investment in KiVi. The agri fintech space is ripe for innovation and disruption, though having many challenges, including the perceived risk with agri credit. We believe that KiVi, led by Joby, has the right blend of people with rich experience of rural financial services and agriculture to make this happen,” said Emmanuel Murray, Investment Director at Caspian Leap for Agriculture Fund.
“KiVi is cultivating a vital solution for the farmgate ecosystem bridging the gap between borrowers and lenders. We are excited to support a company with a visionary management team and their commitment to addressing one of the most critical challenges for the future of agriculture and rural economies,” said Abhay Agarwal, Principal at Piper Serica Angel Fund.
“The investment will help KiVi to build a robust technology platform for scale-up, increase the last-mile presence across many districts, strengthen the product and risk capabilities and obtain an NBFC license.” Joby concluded.