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Paytm Mall Ex-COO Amit Sinha To Raise $8 Million For Agri-tech Venture Unnati

Registered under the parent name of Akshamaala Solutions, Unnati was introduced by Sinha and his friend, Ashok Prasad, in 2017.

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Amit Sinha, who left Paytm Mall three months ago, is pushing big for his agri-tech startup, Unnati, aimed at supporting farmers improve productivity, and plans to raise $6-8 million in a Series A funding round.

He wants to offer agricultural loans to farmers at nominal rates, a move aimed at turning Unnati, which loosely translates to progress, into a one-stop solution for all agricultural needs.

Registered under the parent name of Akshamaala Solutions, Unnati was introduced by Sinha and his friend, Ashok Prasad, in 2017.

The venture offers support services to farmers to enhance yield. It also joins them to local retailers to procure agri-inputs such as sugarcane, corn, paddy, soybean, wheat and vegetable, therefore acting as an e-commerce platform as well.

Unnati is operational in select villages of Uttar Pradesh and plans are afoot to take it to Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra by the year-end.

Sinha wants to further take the venture into the fin-tech category by providing agricultural loans to farmers in partnership with non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) at a monthly interest rate of 2 to 2.5 per cent. The company would soon apply for an NBFC licence, Sinha said.

Unnati claims to have $15 million run rate with above two lakh farmers on board.

"We see this as a digital platform for agriculture. We have given digital cards to farmers and it has a closed-loop wallet. The idea is to give a 360-degree hand-holding to farmers," said Sinha. The funds would be used for enhancing technology and expanding operations, he added.

As per the reports, India has over 119 million landholder farmers, with only 18 per cent of them reliant on a formal source of credit. On average, a farmer in India pays approximately 15 to 20 per cent of his income and about 50 per cent of his gross margin towards interest.


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