Agritech startup Agroshift raises $1.8m seed funding

Fund raised by the startup marks the largest ever pre-seed round for any Bangladeshi startup to date

Dhaka-based agritech startup Agroshift, which helps farmers sell their produce to businesses and consumers by providing a tech-enabled supply chain, has raised $1.8 million in seed funding on Tuesday.

The round was co-led by UAE-based Shorooq Partners, a Middle East-focused technology investor, and Anchorless Bangladesh, a New York-based, early-stage venture capital firm active in the local startup ecosystem, both of which are lead investors.

Apart from the two lead investors, global investors including Ratio Ventures, Sketchnote Partners, and Julian Shapiro, the founder of Demand Curve also participated in the seed-funding round of the startup which was founded in March of this year.

“We're excited to back Agroshift in its vision to serve millions of people working in the agri and textile sectors across Bangladesh. Agroshift's customers are the driving force behind these sizeable economic sectors, and we're humbled to support the team's ambition to cater to their daily needs by offering affordable and convenient means to procure high-quality food & agri products,” stated Omer Zabit, principal at Shorooq Partners, in a release shared with the media. 

“Agroshift's micro logistics model is the most effective that we have seen in helping drive value for both producers and consumers-especially those in one of the country's most valuable sectors: the garment industry. While Bangladesh has already built a significant role in international supply chains, we also see tremendous opportunities in domestic supply chain optimization,” said Rahat Ahmed, founding partner and CEO at Anchorless Bangladesh, one of the lead investors in the agritech startup. 

The B2B agri-marketplace was founded by Qazi Bouland, Rameez Hoque, and Diptha Saha, whose business model merges the physical and digital worlds for “phy-gital” business model which takes care of the demand aggregation, sourcing, and delivery enabling an efficient supply chain.

As per the company, its ultimate goal is building technology solutions to transform the fresh food supply chain and improve the lives of farmers, small businesses, and consumers through which farmers will get better bend and fair prices, and consumers will get fresher and safer products. 

Bouland believes that by 2030 Bangladesh will become the ninth largest consumer market in the world, creating an urgent need for high-quality and fresher food and his startup is poised to solve this critical problem at the right juncture in the country's growth.

“Our unique model eliminates the need for traditional retail touch points, instead leveraging a combination of digital ordering kiosks and lean drop-off points within factory premises,” the startup co-founder also said.

According to LightCastle Partners, the seed-fund raised by Agroshift took the total funding in local technology startups to $815.8 million-- with the fund raised by the startup marking the largest ever pre-seed round for any Bangladeshi startup to date, reported DealStreetAsia.

The investment also speaks volumes for the local start-up sector as it was raised during the ongoing global economic downturn with venture capital firms (VC) cutting down on investment from the beginning of the second quarter of 2022.

According to Crunchbase, VC funding globally fell dramatically, slowing down in the second quarter of 2022, as investors shied away from later-stage funding bets. 

Global early-stage funding totaled only $34 billion in the third quarter of 2022, a decline of 25% quarter over quarter and 39% year over year.