E-commerce has helped several agricultural companies and farmers reach their customers directly, deteriorating any network of middlemen. This has aided in bringing transparency in the costing mechanisms and thereby bringing in significant growth in the revenues.
Agriculture and the export of agro products is the backbone of several economies around the world. The initial involvement of the agricultural industry with technology was through its incorporation in the various farming techniques and tools that would help in making the yields better. While mechanisation in the agricultural processes has been explored widely around the globe, the use of technology like e-commerce for increasing sales is comparatively less common.
According to a report on funding patterns in the e-commerce sector by HexGn, the agriculture e-commerce sector has shown tremendous growth since 2014. The report records how well various e-commerce sub-sectors have fared in receiving funding in the period from 2014 to2018. The report marked a somewhat unsteady graph for the number of deals in these years; however, the amount that was invested in startups in agricultural e-commerce startups rose to close to $1.5 billion in 2018. The number of deals in 2014 and 2018 were equal without much of a stark change in the number in each of the years.
Here are some of the startups from around the world setting new benchmarks in the agriculture e-commerce sub-sector.
Bengaluru based Ninjacart is a pioneer agtech startup in the Indian sub-continent. It was co-founded by Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Sharath Loganathan, Kartheeswaran K K, Vasu Devan and Ashutosh? Vikram in 2015. The B2B agritech marketing company’s journey is a fine example that shows the scope of growth in revenues for the agro-industry that can result from the adoption of e-commerce solutions. Ninjacart creates a lucrative platform for farmers to connect with consumers directly to help earn better profits in the most hassle free manner. The much-needed services of the startup are currently available in three cities in India and have a network of 3,000+ farmers and retailers. The venture-backed startup has picked up close to $50 million in funding till date.
Know more about this top agricultural e-commerce startup in India
Founded by Rachel Drori in 2015, Daily Harvest is a vegetable, fruit, and whole-food home delivery company. The startup partners with farmers that product only the best organic fruits and vegetables. This produce is frozen to lock in the nutrition and delivered to customers in perfectly measured proportions for making healthy smoothies and whole-food breakfasts. The New York-based startup has completed three rounds of funding till date and has raised $43 million from one of them. The amounts for the rest of the rounds are undisclosed. Rachel Drori set up Daily Harvest to help its customers from not losing out on nutrition and good health owing to a busy lifestyle by delivering their array of nourishing foods at their doorstep.
Know more about this top agricultural e-commerce startup in New York
Meicai is a well-established agriculture e-commerce platform in the Chinese startup ecosystem. The company helps farmers to sell their products to various businesses directly without any middlemen. Meicai facilitates these transactions by offering an advanced and transparent supply chain management solutions. It has grown to become a highly preferred source for businesses that need a reliable and regular supply of fresh produce directly from the farms. Meicai is headquartered in Beijing and was co-founded by Liu Chuanjun and Xe Xueyin in 2014. It is among the unicorn companies in the Chinese startup ecosystem and has got funding of $1.5 billion till date.
Know more about this top agricultural e-commerce startup in Beijing
Headquartered in Berlin, agro e-commerce platform Infarm offers on-demand delivery of fresh farm products grown locally. It offers prompt delivery of fresh farm produce by creating vertical farm spaces within the cities and caters to restaurants and supermarkets offering fresh vegetables and fruits for its customers. The company brings together the best of agtech and e-commerce solutions to reduce the time between the farm to your kitchen. Infarm currently has farms and services across 91 locations in Germany, France,? and Switzerland. It was co-founded by brothers Erez Galonska and Guy Galonska in 2012. ?The startup was set up with an aim to encourage urban farming and to bring about a revolution in the existing urban farming practices.
Know more about this top agricultural e-commerce startup in Berlin
Full Harvest is a B2B agricultural e-commerce brand based in San Francisco that was set up with an aim to create sustainable farming practices.? The innovative startup does this by creating a marketplace for farm produce that may be in surplus or in odd shapes. Full Harvest caters to food and beverage companies whose purchases can help bring in additional revenues to the farmers. The company was started by acclaimed entrepreneur Christine Moseley in 2015 and is today among the fastest growing agro e-commerce ventures in America.? Full Harvest has completed two rounds of funding to date raising $10.5 million from them.
Know more about this top agricultural e-commerce startup in San Francisco
Countries Setting New Benchmarks for Agricultural E-commerce
According to a report by HexGn, the agriculture sub-sector in e-commerce is still a relatively new and unexplored segment. A lot of untapped potential lies in this sub-sector which can help economies around the world achieve impressive growth with the help of e-commerce solutions. The report found that China took an exceptional lead in terms of the investments received in 2018. It was followed by the UK, Germany, the US, and Australia where the investments received is not that high but significantly higher than the rest of the countries, some of which have seen no investment in the agricultural e-commerce sub-sector in recent years. Here are some of the top countries that have a soaring e-commerce sector for agricultural products and services.
China had extensively adopted technology for improving farming techniques and yield in recent years. The agriculture industry has also delved into e-commerce for driving profits from selling their product to a larger and more diversified customer base. ?Transactions for online agricultural sales were valued at over $16.1 billion in 2014. The ministries of agriculture and the National Development Reform Commission even laid out initiatives and measures in 2015 in their dynamic action plan to make e-commerce a more common practice for agriculture businesses.? There are more than 1 million online stores of various scales present in China selling products directly from the farmers to end consumers.
The convergence of the agriculture and e-commerce sectors in India has brought about a boom in the revenues for farmers in several areas. However, this growth may not be uniform throughout the country. There are various online platforms Indian farmers rely on for the sale of their vegetables and fruits. One of them is eNAM ( National Agriculture Market) which was introduced two years back. The platform serves as a convenient tool for not just trading their farm’s yield but also for connecting with other farmers and traders. It aims to do away with the middlemen and help farmers cater to the end consumers directly. One of the main challenges faced by the Indian agriculture e-commerce sector is the lack of the right infrastructure for the sub-sector to reach its maximum potential.
Upcoming Trends in the Agriculture E-commerce Industry for 2019
?The adoption of e-commerce in the agriculture sector has not just helped farmers get better revenues and a transparent trading system, it is also helping end consumers find vegetables and fruits at the best prices that are delivered at their doorstep. The sub-sector is continuously evolving to make it more lucrative for all the stakeholders. Here are some of the top trends that you can expect in 2019 in the agriculture e-commerce sector.
Heightened awareness about eating clean and organic food will be seen creating a higher demand for organic agriculture produce to be delivered to homes and restaurants.
Subscription services for delivery of fruits and vegetables straight from the farms will also be on the rise in 2019 and years following it.
Agriculture e-commerce startups in each of the startup ecosystems around the world are growing steadily. The sub-sector still needs a lot of boost through funding and a lot of challenges to be overcome before it becomes a significant sub-sector within e-commerce around the world.