Japanese startup incubator Mistletoe along with Rajesh Sawhney’s tech accelerator GSF and Indo-Japan business consultancy firm Infobridge, has setup an agriculture tech and food-tech accelerator called Gastrotope in India. It’s worth noting Taizo Son, CEO and founder of Mistletoe, is the younger brother of SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son.
While Gastrotope has not shared more details about its incubation programme in India, it said that it will focus on ‘farm to fork’ value chain. It also added that it aims to invest in startups that can add value in various parts of the value chain, starting with farmers and moving to food transportation, processing and delivery to and consumption by customers. Rajesh Sawhney, CEO and founder of GSF India said in a statement that Gastrotope is looking to partner with various state governments including Andhra Pradesh to work in the farm sector.
Note that Mistletoe is already present in India as it made investments in multiple agritech and foodtech startups Rajesh Sawhney-cofounded Innerchef, Ninjacart and Kisan Network.
Agritech space in India
While the space does not look much crowded, the segment has seen some activities in last two years.
-In March, AgroStar, an e-commerce marketplace for buying farming goods and resources raised $10 million in a series B round to expand their services in states like Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, and also to hire new talent.
-The Indian government itself has an online trading platform for farmers, which was launched last year to help farmers to sell their produce to wholesale agricultural markets and buyers. The platform also received Rs 200 crore investment from the government in 2015.
-Also, The AGMARKNET initiative directed by the Ministry of Agriculture provides daily mandi rates through its online website. It also has two mobile apps—Kisan Suvidha & AgriMarket, which helps farmers procure information on crop insurance and prices of agricultural commodities.