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Startup optimizes sustainable agriculture without soil in tropical climates

BASF Venture Capital’s first investment in this early stage Indian business strengthens AgTech activities in Asia


BASF Venture Capital GmbH (BVC) is investing in the Indian startup UrbanKisaan, which specializes in hydroponic cultivation of various types of vegetables, greens and herbs in tropical urban environments. This is BVC’s first investment in an early stage business focusing on India. Conceptualized in 2017, UrbanKisaan operates several suburban greenhouses and vertical indoor farms in Hyderabad and Bangalore. The company sells the fresh produce, some of which is grown directly in the shops, in its franchise-owned brick-and-mortar stores and via an app and website. Both parties agreed not to disclose financial details of the investment.

UrbanKisaan has optimized hydroponics technology for use in tropical climates such as India. With only one tenth of the costs, the proprietary technology is significantly more efficient than conventional global standards in hydroponics cultivation. The company is also capitalizing on the trend of online food retailing, which is booming on the subcontinent.

Vihari Kanukollu, Co-founder and CEO at UrbanKisaan said “Our approach in hydroponics enables us to produce our food cost-effectively and with relatively little effort,”. “Our produce also contributes towards sustainability as it is grown in clean, hygienic farms in and around the city, thus minimizing the total carbon footprint. Use of IoT (Internet-of-Things)-enabled technology for monitoring the farms ensures pesticide-free produce. The growing demand from our customers shows that our idea is well-received.


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