PayAgri is an agri-fintech startup that brings together key players in the Indian agriculture value chain to facilitate trade and funding flows to promote inclusive growth. PayAgri’s primary platform, Agri Value Engine (AVE), connects farmers and buyers by removing inefficiencies in the value chain, such as middlemen, cash-based transactions and misinformation. PayAgri seeks to create opportunities for farmers to build assets by generating verifiable and traceable data, which helps lenders make informed lending decisions.
Over the next six months, PayAgri will receive $100,000 USD in grant capital and receive mentoring from its Catalyst Fund sponsor investor, Gray Ghost Ventures. The company will also work with BFA to identify specific advisory engagements towards strategic milestones and a growth trajectory.
THE Problem and Solution
In developed countries where farming is known as a viable and profitable business, the farmers enjoy low-cost cultivation, easy access to finance at appropriate cost, higher yield and better prices due to large-scale farming. Data capturing and usage of technologies are also possible due to size of the farms and cashless transactions. But in India and also in most of the developing countries, the land holdings are small and marginal sizes lead to a plethora of challenges that keep the farmers from enjoying the benefits of large-scale farming.
In order to bring the benefits of large-scale farming to Indian farmers, it is imperative to aggregate the farmers and integrate them with all the stakeholders in the agricultural value chain with the help of technology. PayAgri’s tech-enabled solution facilitates cashless transactions and capturing of real-time data about the farmers that can be used by banks/financial institutions, insurance companies and institutional buyers to make informed decisions and work directly with the farmers.
- The platform connects farmers to institutional buyers/banks bypassing the middlemen. Institutional buyers can place orders through the AVE portal, receive financing from a local non-bank financial institution to purchase large orders. Farmers get paid directly for the produce without delays.
- Collects data for thin or no file farmers to build a credit scorecard and facilitate access to financial services. A pre-populated application form (e-KYC) helps lenders assess farmers’ credit-worthiness and speed up disbursements.
- Banks leverage PayAgri’s data on farmers’ cash flows and other data to offer accounts receivables financing and working capital loans.
- The app provides updates on crop pricing and other information and generates weekly crop progress for farmers. This weekly crop progress reports can be used by bankers as a post-disbursement monitoring tool, by insurance companies to validate the factual crop data and also by the institutional buyers to do procurement planning.
The Value Proposition
- Optimizes returns and creates value for all the stakeholders in the agriculture value chain by leveraging technology and agriculture expertise, keeping farmers’ interest first.
- Creates opportunities for farmers to access working capital and build a credit history.
THE LEARNING AGENDA
PayAgri is aligned with the Catalyst Fund learning agenda. They could help answer the learning agenda questions of:
- How can fintech companies overcome infrastructure barriers to optimize the agricultural value chain for farmers to access financial services?
- What data can fintech companies use to determine farmer credit-worthiness in India, in areas with limited network and mobile money infrastructure?