1. Blog

Top Five Urban Farming Startups in India

This article includes five pioneers who scaled up to help urban farming in India grow. They were all formed between 2011 and 2017.

Shruti Kandwal
UrbanKissan now runs 30 vertical farms in and around the ten-million-person city of Hyderabad.
UrbanKissan now runs 30 vertical farms in and around the ten-million-person city of Hyderabad.

The Green Revolution in the 50s and 60s would have allowed the farmers to increase their yields, but it also brought with it the evils of using pesticides & chemical fertilizers.

Over the years, farmers were involved in conventional farming methods that created many problems for them. They were not only dangerous to humans but caused pollution and degraded soil & water. 

Presently, many farmers and urban-dwellers have switched to urban farming or organic farming. Few years back, farming in cities was thought to be impossible. But new technologies like hydroponics & vertical farming have made growing produce in small urban spaces possible.

Here are 5 urban farming startups that are going the extra mile to bring sustainable farming practices in India:

Clover

Agritech greenhouse platform called Clover partners with farmers all throughout India to provide branded, premium vegetables grown in greenhouses. Arvind Murali, Avinash B R, Gururaj Rao, and Santosh Narasipura formed it in 2017.

In typical Clover farms, demand-led cultivation is done using the company's full-stack agronomy solutions, traceability, consumption prediction, and end-to-end farm management services on one to two acres of greenhouse farmland.

Over 90 clients (retail chains and restaurants) are served by the enterprise, which currently runs its greenhouses across 175 locations in South India on 70 acres of farmland. In-house D2C brand Deep-Rooted Co, which sells fresh fruits and vegetables, was also introduced in 2021.

Linesh Pillai, a former banker turned farmer, established India's first vertical farm in Mumbai.
Linesh Pillai, a former banker turned farmer, established India's first vertical farm in Mumbai.

UGF Farms

In Poland, urban farming was made available to former banker turned farmer Linesh Pillai. He recognized a great chance to commercialize the idea upon his return to India in 2011, and in 2012 he established the country's first vertical farm in Mumbai. UGF Farms started out by testing the market with greens and microgreens before quickly growing to sell to renowned restaurants, hotels, and retailers throughout cities.

In order to grow the business, UGF started converting empty properties and spaces between buildings in neighbourhoods, as well as homes, restaurants, and other buildings, into microfarms

Triton Foodworks

Triton Foodworks was established in 2014 by Forbes 30 Under 30 India entrepreneurs Dhruv Khanna and Ullas Samrat with the goal of making food production more environmentally friendly by using 300 times less land than conventional farming. Triton is an integrated company that grows pesticide-free fruits and vegetables without requiring soil by utilizing hydroponics and vertical farming.

In Northern India, the company owns and runs 150,000 square foot vertical farms where it cultivates over 20 different crops, including strawberries, spinach, microgreens, and bell peppers.

The business can offer fresh produce within hours and has a smaller carbon footprint than traditional agriculture because it grows inside city limits. Furthermore, each crop has a constant size, level of nutrients, smell, and flavor due to the well-controlled farming environment. The business currently sells ChopChop to retailers and food service businesses.

UrbanKisaan

Sairam Reddy, Srinivas Chaganti, and Vihari Kanukollu created UrbanKisaan in 2017 with the goal of resolving India's water crisis and introducing chemical-free agriculture to the nation. With home growing kits costing between $150 and $250, this YC-backed startup uses hydroponic technology. It also has a B2B arm that has built a network of urban framings for online delivery through food delivery partners, as well as a subscription-based D2C model.

UrbanKisaan has a 20,000 square foot research center, 15 on-staff scientists, and the ability to cultivate over 50 different types of crops. Due in part to "Farm Bowl," the company's own online food delivery network that sends out fresh warm and cold salad bowls and dips, the demand for fresh produce increased by 10 times during the 2020 lockdowns.

UrbanKissan now runs 30 vertical farms in and around the ten-million-person city of Hyderabad, with plans to expand to other significant cities in 2021. The business got $1.5 million from YCombinator in 2020.

Homecrop

Four Vellore Institute of Technology graduates founded Homecrop with the intention of bringing urban farming to your balconies, terraces, and backyards. Finally, you can produce vegetables in a kitchen garden. The organization not only builds delicious farms but also offers setup and optimal maintenance services, which you can later refuse. Would you like to build it from ground - up? No issue; the company even offers easy-to-use DIY farming kits that can be integrated throughout India.

Share your comments

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters