CropIn has witnessed phenomenal growth over the last few years fuelled by a combination of new product introductions, entry into international markets and creation of new target customer segments in the Ag value chain. CropIn started with an initial investment of $10,000, which was raised from friends & family, Seed investors and early employees who believed in the vision of the founders. These early employees and investors became one of the early shareholders in the company.
In the recently concluded Series C funding, the company raised $20 million of primary capital, taking the overall investment into the company to $33 million. This was followed by a secondary sale of $4.3 Mn and was open to the company’s employees and investors holding stocks. Several early investors and employees who sold their stocks realized nearly 70X returns on their investment. In the first of its kind move in the agtech space, this is a huge value creation for the employees and depicts the healthy growth that the company has been witnessing. A Secondary Sale or ESOP buyback ensures that employees receive benefits for the impact that they are creating with their work and contributes significantly to the growth of the company.
Vishal Kuchanur, one of the early employees at CropIn and one of the beneficiaries of the Secondary Sale, shared his perspective on working with CropIn, “My experience at CropIn as a Technologist has been truly enriching and gratifying. Being in a then-unknown sector of Agritech and pioneering the space, CropIn is transforming organizations’ perception of digital technology in the Ag space. I wanted to work in an organization which had a real impact in the lives of people and CropIn gave me an opportunity to ideate, experiment, and grow while building products that streamline agri value chains globally.”
“When I had first met Krishna and Kunal in 2011, agri-tech as a category of product solutions was almost unknown. But, Krishna and Kunal were convinced that digitisation of agricultural data and then building smart solutions on top of it, for all stakeholders involved, would be essential for improving and optimizing crop quality and output. While they were at a very early stage then, it was this conviction of theirs which drove me to invest in them. And since, they’ve come a long way – in terms of multiple products & innovations, lots of happy customers, an efficient team, and multiple rounds of funding as well. It has been an absolute delight to back entrepreneurs like them, and see their vision unfold, while being a part of it in a small way. And I am very excited for the journey forward.” – Pallav Nadhani, Early Investor at CropIn.
Vasudev Avadhani, who has been the advisor to Krishna Kumar and CropIn throughout, shared his views on the company’s recent achievements “Krishna approached me almost 9 years back with his most innovative idea to use smart mobile technology to reform and transform Indian Agriculture, leaving a cushy job in a top foreign multinational, which showed his courage of conviction.
During initial years of operating in a small rented house, I could see his fierce determination & perseverance to secure first key accounts. He showed similar determination while securing his first few investors to pull through CropIn’s most difficult times! Now with his secondary sale of shares to prominent VCs and profitable operations in several foreign countries, I am quite convinced that CropIn (his baby) would soon join India’s Unicorn Club of startups.“
CropIn was established with the vision of improving farmer livelihoods by harnessing the power of AI and Machine Learning through predictive analytics and modelling into agriculture. CropIn is determined to progressively achieve its goal of building a path for the employees’ overall growth and pursue opportunities to create wealth for the employees through the company’s stocks.
“It is both humbling and satisfying to enable tremendous return on investment and value for our early employees and investors who believed in us. Nearly 60% of our employees hold stock options in the company. As a growing company we will be looking for other opportunities to expand our stock programs to provide this as an additional benefit for our employees and enable them to participate more actively in the growth journey of the organization”, said Krishna Kumar, Founder and CEO, CropIn.
The company has been actively implementing some high impact work with a very diverse set of clientele and partners globally with the ultimate goal of making farming sustainable. So far, CropIn has digitized over 16 million acres of farmland and enriched the lives of nearly 7 million farmers, across 52+ countries covering 400 crops and over 10,000 crop varieties.