India-based Internet of Things and data analysis startup, Stellapps, recently announced that it completed its Series B funding round at the end of May, raising $14 million to expand its technology in the dairy supply chain industry.
The startup funding round was led by IndusAge Partners and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Two venture capital firms also joined in the funding round, ABB Technology Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures. Some of the innovative company’s existing investors also joined in the funding round including Blume Ventures, Venture Highway, Asia-focused BEENEXT, and Indian VC Omnivore Partners.
For the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, it was their very first equity investment in India. The entire funding round is expected to help Stellapps scale its efforts and massive work to improve the income of dairy farmers through its IoT-based automation platform. Additionally, earlier in May, the Gates Foundation participated in a funding round of $12.5 million for the IIM Ahmedabad’s Center for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship for the $25 million Bharat Inclusion Initiative which is aimed at helping to address the challenges of India’s inclusion through the lens of technology.
In a press release, the CEO of Stellapps, Ranjith Mukundan said, “Stellapps is on a mission to digitise the dairy value chain and drive efficiencies for farmers and milk processors in the Indian dairy market. The company is entering a stage of accelerating growth, and this strategic group of investment partners will add tremendous value as we scale our technology platform to support more than 10 million litres of milk per day.”
Stellapps was founded in 2011 by a group of technologists as the first of its kind in India to offer end-to-end dairy technology solutions to dairy farmers. The company uses Internet of Things, big data, mobility, data and analytics, cloud infrastructures, and supply chain parameters within the agriculture industry to transform rural Indian life. One of the unique aspects of the business for Stellapps is that it seeks to acquire data across the dairy supply chain through sensors armed with automation and IoT-based equipment and architecture that is held in the cloud. This allows for low expenses and pushes a subscription model that works for India’s dairy market.
Speaking about his company’s latest investment, Sudhir Rao, the managing partner of IndusAge Partners, said, “Organised milk in India is a $70 billion industry growing at 23 percent annually, with a homogenous business value chain that benefits virtually every farming household in the country. We are truly impressed with the Stellapps team that is already deploying a scalable IoT-led platform reaching over 750,000 smallholder farmers on a daily basis.”
Varsha Tagare, the senior director of Qualcomm Ventures India, said, “With its rugged wireless platforms for farmers and consumers in extreme rural environments, Stellapps is pioneering efficient and transparent dairy technology solutions in previously unreached areas. Qualcomm Ventures is excited to work with Stellapps on growing its presence and impact in this new and developing IoT space.”