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Agritech startup Bijak in talks to raise $35 million led by Bertelsmann India

Bijak, an agritech startup backed by Sequoia Capital’s Surge fund, is in advanced talks to raise $35 million (Rs 264 crore) in a round led by Bertelsmann India, two people with knowledge of the development said.
The current round values the two-year-old startup at $200-$250 million, they said.

Bijak had
raised $12 million in a Series A funding round in April last year from investors led by Russian venture capital firm RTP Global, at a valuation of $85-$90 million.

The startup also counts Omidyar Network, Omnivore Partners and Better Capital among its investors. It is part of Sequoia startup accelerator programme Surge’s second cohort of 2019.
Spokespersons for Bijak and Bertelsmann did not respond to emails and messages seeking comment till press time Monday.

Founded in 2019 by Nukul Upadhye, Mahesh Jakhotia, Jitender Bedwal, Daya Rai and Nikhil Tripathi, Bijak is a B2B marketplace for agricultural goods. The platform enables traders, wholesalers and food processors to keep a ledger of their transactions, access transparent pricing, optimise logistics and improve their working capital cycles.

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As per a company release last month, Bijak’s revenue grew fivefold during Covid-19. Gross merchandise value (GMV) — the value of all transactions on a platform during a given period — also rose multi-fold, it said.
“From a GMV of Rs 50 lakh in October 2019, the platform has hit an annualised GMV of Rs 1,200 crore,” it said.

The company had a presence in 27 states/union territories, the release had said.

This latest funding comes at a time when

startups are seeing heightened interest from the investor community. Almost $172 million have flowed into the sector across 21 deals so far this year, shows data from Venture Intelligence, a data aggregator. In 2020, more than 20 agritech startups cumulatively raised more than $125 million across equity, venture debt and conventional debt rounds.

Other companies in the sector such as DeHaat, ReshaMandi, Bharat Agri, Krishify, Faarms, Tartan Sense and Better Harvest have recently raised capital from risk investors.

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