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Cropin Technology Solutions is a Leading Player in Global Agriculture Industry; 2 Decisions that made it happen!

The Bengaluru-based agritech firm had raised $15.7 million over seven years. CropIn's income in FY 2020 was Rs 17 crore, up 40% from the previous year, according to its records with the Registrar of Companies.

Binita Kumari
SmartRisk had nearly 20 signups by May 2020, while SmartFarm, the startup's primary product, had 130 customers.
SmartRisk had nearly 20 signups by May 2020, while SmartFarm, the startup's primary product, had 130 customers.

The conditions were far from perfect when Krishna Kumar, CEO, and Co-founder of Cropin Technology Solutions, began raising funding for its Series C round in 2020. Until then, the Bengaluru-based agritech firm had raised $15.7 million over seven years. CropIn's income in FY 2020 was Rs 17 crore, up 40% from the previous year, according to its records with the Registrar of Companies.

Krishna, on the other hand, had made a couple of tough strategic decisions in mid-2018, which would start to show in the financial results. In Financial Year 2020, losses increased by 75% to Rs 34 crore. In India, the COVID-19 pandemic had only emerged recently, prompting a three-month countrywide lockdown in 2020.

In this scenario, Krishna set out to raise funds, but he remained confident about his two 2019 decisions.

His first call had been to invest in Cropin's predictive-intelligence tool, SmartRisk, which would help Cropin's agriculture and food clients in analyzing farm yield patterns and collecting historical crop trends by location.

SmartRisk had nearly 20 signups by May 2020, while SmartFarm, the startup's primary product, had 130 customers. "SmartRisk has the potential to expand five to ten times faster than SmartFarm," Krishna stated at the time.

Why was he so enthusiastic about SmartRisk? Cropin's existing clients and prospects were being pushed to use software for remote monitoring of their farm assets due to global lockdowns and restrictions.

In May 2020, Krishna revealed, "We're buying a lot of satellite and weather imagery to obtain data on farms." "Because businesses can remotely monitor their assets, SmartRisk will see a boom in demand. That demand will pick up "he said

SmartRisk contributed 4% of income in April 2019, and, as Krishna predicted, the next-generation agri intelligent technology will see a considerable increase in the following three years. According to the company, SmartRisk generates 65 percent of its annualized revenue as of February 2022.

SmartRisk's revenue has increased by 113 times in monetary terms over the last three years, according to the company.

Krishna's second decision in the Fiscal Year 2019 was harsher. Krishna explained, "We chose to partner with large firms and the mid-segment because they will bring a larger number of farmers onto the Cropin platform."

Cropin would have to spend more internal resources to cover and analyze smaller swaths of land and cropping patterns if it worked with small customers.

In practice, the startup has reduced its client base from 185 in 2018 to 130 in April 2020. Krishna raised $20.4 million in a Series C financing headed by impact investor ABC World Asia in December of that year.

Krishna has now increased the ante for Cropin to win big-ticket deals with firms in the agri-inputs, seeds, food processing, agri-lending, and agri-insurance categories, claiming to be working with more than 100 clients.

However, the company's year-over-year growth in FY 2021 was the worst in its 11-year history, at 10%. "There were certain COVID-19-related delays," explains Ritu Verma, Managing Partner at Ankur Capital and the first venture capital investor in Cropin in 2013.

Cropin, on the other hand, expects to end FY 2022 with sales of over Rs 40 crore, or two times the previous years, and annual bookings of Rs 145 crore. According to the corporation, its net revenue retention has increased by 120 percent in FY 2022, indicating how the contribution from existing deals has improved.

The startup's founders and board of directors have set in place a management team for the next stage of growth in the last year, while Krishna, as CEO, will focus on building the world's largest agri intelligence platform. Its goods are being used on farms in 56 different nations.

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