Events & News

Startups pave way for Farming 2.0
: December 23, 2015

Smart phones and internet may not have penetrated much in rural Karnataka and India but that's not stopping a slew of startups in Bengaluru from offering next-gen farming tips, with the assistance of technology.

From offering expert advice to farmers on crop and sowing pattern to solutions on how to harvest and maximize their yield, startups seem to have an app for all. And what's more, the forecast for the apps seems to be quite promising.

CropIn, a five-year-old startup, has already started providing its applications for mostly Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO) and NGOs. Founded by Krishna Kumar and Kunal Prasad, CropIn also has big farming companies like Pepsico, McCain, Fieldfresh looking to it for solutions.

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How a startup wants to transform Indian agriculture by using the cloud
: October 16, 2015

In April 2013, a news update on farmers in different districts of Bengal throwing their produce of tomatoes on the road shocked viewers. These farmers were infuriated with the fact that wholesalers were offering them only 25 paise per kilo. If they sold at these prices, they would have incurred heavy losses as there was a massive mismatch between the production cost and the cost of selling. This is not a rare incident, as similar cases have been reported across the country for many years. Farmers have been even driven to take the adverse step of killing themselves due to poor crop yield. In the last 2 decades, over 3 lakh farmers have ended their lives. It is estimated that forty one farmers commit suicide every day. Figures released by the Ministry of Agriculture in July 2015, state that over 3300 farmers have committed suicide due to agricultural reasons in the last 3 years. Most suicides are committed as farmers are under intense pressure to pay back the mounting debt — especially when crops fail.

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Ankur Capital backs training simulator maker Skillveri
: September 16, 2015

Mumbai-based impact investor Ankur Capital has invested an undisclosed amount in Chennai-based startup Skillveri Training Solutions Pvt Ltd.

Skillveri creates simulators to deliver skill training. It claims that its AURA line of welding simulators can train workers at a fraction of the cost required by traditional training methods.

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SIDBI Ramps Up Startup Support Through Fund of Funds Operation
: September 16, 2015

India’s startup ecosystem is one of the fastest growing ones in the world with the third largest base, having more than 4200 startups (next only to UK and US). It is also becoming evident that the startups through their disruptive technology and business models are not only going to fuel the Indian economy for a higher growth trajectory, but also change the way of our living in several ways. Startup India initiative has the potential to help achieve the global growth ambitions of India.

Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) as the principal financial institution for promotion and financing of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) has been addressing the gaps in the MSME ecosystem both directly and indirectly.

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Helping farmers in identifying problems and improving produce
: April 6, 2015

Even India’s population increases rapidly, the growth in food production is lagging behind.

Some entrepreneurs think technology holds the answer: Krishna Kumar, an engineer and an entrepreneur, has co-founded CropIn Technology Solutions along with Kunal Prasad to help increase farm productivity by making every farm and crop traceable and export-worthy.

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Rajasthan’s Karma Healthcare bags funding to bring telemedicine to villages
: April 6, 2015

Indian rural healthcare startup Karma Healthcare has raised an undisclosed amount in pre-series A round from impact fund Ankur Capital.

The company runs clinics in the rural areas of desert state Rajasthan. It gives villagers access to specialized doctors through telemedicine as well as direct face-to-face consultations. It uses tablet computers, printers, power-backup systems, and medical devices which can transmit real-time data from patients to doctors located elsewhere.

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How Ankur Capital is following a different path to impact investment
: April 4, 2015

In 2010, J.P. Morgan estimated the potential capital need for impact investments (targeting the part of the global population earning less than $3,000 a year), which drive not just social impact but also financial returns, to be $400 billion to $1,000 billion over the next 10 years. Fortunately, over the last 20 years, the number of specialised commercial funds in the impact investing space has risen 10 times. Capital committed to impact investing via private equity style active managers alone has risen from $4 billion to $12 billion over the same period.

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Our focus is to create scalable businesses: Rema Subramanian
: March 12, 2015

A number of angel investors, and venture funds, invest in technology start-ups and commercial businesses, hoping to get good returns in a short span of time. However, Ankur Capital, an impact angel fund co-founded by Rema Subramanian, has decided to focus on an uncharted territory, where there are not many successful examples to boost the spirit. She explains to Bibhu Ranjan Mishra why the fund is investing in social ventures. Edited excerpts:

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Ankur Capital bets on real India, invests in three early-stage rural ventures
: February 26, 2015

Impact investment fund, Ankur Capital, has invested in three early-stage ventures that focus on rural markets.

The Mumbai-based venture capital fund, which received approval from market regulator Sebi earlier this month, is backing CropIn, a cloud-based farm management systems company, home compost solutions provider Daily Dump and primary eye-care service provider ERC.

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