India’s state agricultural bank NABARD has a $100 million fund for startups

Nabard buliding photo By V Sunil for TOI
  • National Bank for Agriculture And Rural Development (NABARD) has announced a $100 million fund for startups.
  • According to reports, the new fund will look into equity investments in “asset-light, innovative, technology-led start-ups in its focus areas”.
  • India’s agritech startups have been growing fast and securing quick investments in the past few years.
India’s agritech and rural startups just got a huge boost with the government-owned National Bank for Agriculture And Rural Development (NABARD) announcing a $100 million fund for startups.

Until now, NABARD had been instrumental in providing funds to startups through other funds. In January 2019, NABARD had announced the launch of NABVENTURES Ltd, which functions as its venture capital arm.

According to reports, the fund will look into equity investments in “asset-light, innovative, technology-led start-ups in its focus areas” that is agriculture, food and rural development space.

Agriculture is the most important contributing industry to the Indian economy, however, a problem that has persisted has been the lack of technologically sound advancements in the field. Farmers have had issues in various fields – dealing with the middlemen menace, storage of crops, surveillance etc. And here’s where agritech startups come in.

Over the years, India has seen a growth in the number of agritech startups, which has also led to VCs and accelerator programs turn their focus to the sector, given that it caters to a large part of India’s population. This has resulted in agritech startups coming under the spotlight for investments and more.

Recently, Ninjacart, an agritech supply-chain startup, got an $89 million funding in a Series C round from a marquee investor like Tiger Global.

Now, with a focused fund coming in from the government’s NABARD, it will only boost the sector.

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