Will This Y Combinator-Backed Startup’s Urban Home Farms Take Root In India?




Will This Y Combinator-Backed Startup’s Urban Home Farms Take Root In India?

UrbanKisaan leverages hydroponic technology for domestic growing kits, in addition to a community of city farms for on line transport and retail channels

During the lockdown section, the business enterprise claimed to have seen 10x boom in phrases of call for for its sparkling produce, as compared to pre-Covid instances

Based in Hyderabad, UrbanKisaan has mounted close to 30+ vertical farms and plans to make bigger to Bengaluru, Chennai among different towns

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There’s a minor evolution underway in a lot of India’s biggest towns. We are speakme approximately hydroponic farming and this soil-much less method is rapid becoming the solution to fixing the problem of carbon footprint in meals. Call it hydroponic farming, soilless farming, vertical farming or something else — for lots it's miles the lengthy-awaited solution to accountable consuming. 

In this backdrop, agritech and hydroponics startups are speedy finding niches in diverse produce categories and cities. 

Despite their shared ethos for sustainable meals manufacturing, the likes of UrbanKisaan, Barton Breeze, Hydrilla, Simply Fresh, Acqua Farms, Letcetra Agritech, BitMantis Innovations, Future Farms, Ela Sustainable Solutions, Agro2o, Junga FreshnGreen, Pindfresh are running in this subject via one-of-a-kind fashions and focused on extraordinary niches — from huge-scale hydroponics farming in rural regions to small domestic farms for the cities.

Working at the philosophy of bringing farms toward home is Hyderabad-based UrbanKisaan. With the vision of making hydroponic era greater low-priced and reachable for the hundreds, UrbanKisaan offers domestic-grow kits or vertical hydroponic farms. And by way of creating mini farms in cities and revitalising farmlands with hydroponic era, the startup additionally elements clean produce to clients via Swiggy, Zomato, Dunzo and different retail channels as well as inside the D2C model on subscription and on-call for basis.   

“We are the most effective startup in the hydroponic landscape to have taken a hybrid method, where we've got 20,000 sq. Feet. Research and development facility, together with 15+ in-residence scientist working on more moderen improvements and merchandise,” claimed cofounder and CEO Vihari Kanukollu elaborating on how the enterprise is looking to distinguish itself within the burgeoning hydroponic marketplace. 

However, UrbanKisaan isn't always by myself in the game, Simply Fresh, every other Hyderabad based agritech startup, additionally grows and elements a line of medicinal plants and clean produce from its greenhouses. Similarly, Chennai-primarily based Future Farms works on hydroponic technology at a commercial stage, where it designs incorporated complete-stack answers for alternative farming within the country. The vibrancy of the hydroponic fashions and the massive ground region that needs to be protected throughout towns and villages has made it possible for more than one startups to thrive on this area. 

Needless to say, the market possibility is huge, as ‘urban farming’ is catching up at a fast pace globally. According to MarketsandMarkets, the global hydroponics marketplace is expected to attain $sixteen.6 Bn via 2025, growing at a compound annual increase fee of eleven.Nine% from $9.Five Bn in 2020. The increase of the world is stated to be driven by the growth in populace and the want for food security thru alternative high-yield farming strategies, given the depletion of water throughout the globe. 

Plus, the upward push in awareness and call for for a more fit way of life is said to have opened doors for a plethora of possibilities for hydroponic startups to acquire the benefits in the end. 

UrbanKisaan earns sales from its more than one channels which allow it to attain all sorts of purchasers — from those who want a flavor of the hydroponic produce to people who need to develop it themselves. Its city farms are strategically placed subsequent to retail stores to facilitate hyperlocal deliveries and its DIY home kits are for the latter set. Additionally, it's also supplying its era to nearby farmers to reutilise farm land. 

The startup was founded in 2017 through Kanukollu, Srinivas Chaganti, Dr Hari, Shiva Prasad and Dr Sai Ram, a scientist who has been instrumental in developing the nutrient solution for his or her state-of-the-art vertical farming method. In March 2020, the business enterprise additionally raised $1.Five Mn in seed investment from Y Combinator. 

Home Farming In The Times Of Covid

During the lockdown phase, the organization claimed to have witnessed 10x growth in phrases of demand for its fresh produce, compared to pre-Covid tiers. Further, cofounder Kanukollu stated that the disruption in the supply chain and consumers leveraging on the hyperlocal shipping modes, in conjunction with the exchange in patron way of life, for the consumption of sparkling, organic produce has resulted inside the surge in call for.

The Covid-19 pandemic temporarily halted the movement of produce across India and highlighted the space within the food deliver chain. This allowed agritech startups such as UrbanKisaan that specialise in hydroponic farming to faucet a super opportunity and produce performance in the deliver chain. 

With its hyperlocal urban farms version, Kanukollu claimed UrbanKisaan isn't only bringing transparency to the vegetable supply chain but also lowering the carbon footprint, lowering meals waste. Most importantly, their farming technique additionally claimed to shop ninety five% water, and grow the produce 30x compared to conventional farms. 

Its domestic kits are priced everywhere between INR 9,900 and INR 19,900 with about 50+ forms of leafy vegetables and unusual vegetables supported by these kits, which includes spinach, coriander, mint, basil, bok choy, lettuce, parsley, fenugreek, capsicum, tomato and kale among others. 

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Further, the employer claimed to have semi-automated the whole technique and has designed the kits in one of these way that it calls for constrained assets to manage it. “Once established, it requires 15 min/week of attempt to attend to the flora, thereby making it seamless for purchasers to grow their own fresh produce,” stated Kanukollu.

A Tech Upgrade For Rural Farmers

In addition to this, UrbanKisaan also works with local farmers who personal greenhouses, where it helps them in putting in place vertical farms from scratch to producing and imparting clean culmination and greens. 

Cost-wise, the poly house or greenhouse setup could commonly fee farmers anywhere among INR 35 to INR 50 Lakhs per acre, of which, the government might also subsidise as much as eighty%. Once that is installed, that is a fixed fee, for setting up of hydroponic setup, it would cost the farmer moreover INR 50 Lakhs. But, UrbanKisaan instructed CFT that it seems to reduce this value at INR 15 to INR 20 Lakhs.

UrbanKisaan claims to have established near 30+ hydroponics farms inside the nation, across its various offerings. In the coming days, it plans to enlarge into different towns, together with Bengaluru, Chennai among others, along side developing its group, adding newer styles of hydroponic seeds, fruits and greens, and improving its technology abilities. 

Kanukollu is calling at creating a centralised monitoring device thru UrbanKisaan for these numerous hubs and farms. “We are closely investing in synthetic and gadget studying gear, wherein once the network of the city farm increases, we will be capable of reveal and manage their farms remotely and provide a actual-time replace to customers.”



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