BASF Venture Capital invests in Indian hydroponic startup UrbanKisaan, Auto News, ET Auto

New Delhi: BASF Venture Capital GmbH (BVC) invests in the Indian startup UrbanKisaan, which specializes in the hydroponic cultivation of various vegetables, greens and herbs in tropical urban environments.

This is BVC’s first investment in an early-stage business with a focus on India, the company announced on Tuesday. Both parties have agreed not to disclose the financial details of the investment.

UrbanKisaan was conceived in 2017 and operates several suburban greenhouses and vertical indoor farms in Hyderabad and Bengaluru. The company sells the fresh products, some of which are grown directly in the shops, in its own franchise branches as well as via the app and website.

“As a pioneer in the hydroponics sector, UrbanKisaan has developed a unique cultivation method and combines this with a convincing business model for sales,” said Markus Solibieda, Managing Director of BVC. “AgTech is one of our most important investment priorities worldwide. In particular, this includes our goal of supporting innovative agricultural and food companies in Asia. We look forward to learning more about hydroponic agriculture and exploring its potential through a close collaboration between UrbanKisaan and the agricultural experts at BASF, ”he added.

UrbanKisaan has optimized hydroponic technology for use in tropical climates such as India. At just a tenth the cost, the proprietary technology is significantly more efficient than conventional global standards in hydroponic growing. The company is also relying on the online grocery trade, which is booming on the subcontinent.

“Our approach to hydroponics enables us to produce our food cheaply and with relatively little effort. Our products also contribute to sustainability as they are grown on clean, hygienic farms in and around the city, thus minimizing the overall carbon footprint. The use of IoT (Internet of Things) -capable technology to monitor the farms ensures pesticide-free products. The growing demand from our customers shows that our idea is well received, ”said Vihari Kanukollu, co-founder and CEO of UrbanKisaan.

UrbanKisaan’s farms are managed using proprietary technology. Nutrient content, pH value, humidity, CO2 concentration, light concentration and other important parameters are controlled with an app and adapted to the needs of the respective plants.

With the investment from BASF, UrbanKisaan plans to expand its market presence in India, use its agricultural technology to collaborate with thousands of farmers, and offer city residents fresh, local and sustainable products.

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