Matrix Partners targets India’s ag supply chain

The Indian private equity firm has made its first investment in ag tech by backing newly-established Gobasco, a company focused on optimizing India’s agri supply chain.


Matrix Partners India has invested an undisclosed sum in Gobasco, a start-up founded earlier this year “to solve complex supply-chain optimization problems in agri-commodities,” making it the firm’s first investment in the agtech sector.

“SMEs in India are adopting technology at a rapid pace, thus opening up opportunities in large, underserved markets like agriculture,” said Matrix India vice-president Rajinder Balaraman. “Gobasco’s approach provides farmers and agri SMEs with a data-rich technology platform and network to grow their profits, thereby creating new opportunities in rural commerce.”

The funds invested will enable Gobasco to expand its team and to scale its technology platform.

Founded earlier this year by Vedant Katiyar, a tech and business school alumnus, and Abhishek Sharma, who holds a PhD in artificial intelligence and was an AI researcher for Apple, the company uses real-time data analytics on data streams coming from multiple sources across the country. It aims to increase the efficiency of the current agri supply chain in India, the world’s second largest.

“Our goal is to bring the power of AI and big data to optimize the agri supply chain of India, which directly translates into the betterment of millions of Indians,” Sharma said.

Within three months of full-scale operations, Gobasco has transacted with more than 500 farmers and buyers across 15 locations in India and abroad, the start-up said.

Founded in 2006, Matrix Partners India is part of Matrix Partners, an early-stage investment firm based in Boston and San Francisco. Unlike its parent, however, Matrix India invests in mobile internet companies at the seed, early and early growth stages across sectors such as e-commerce, B2B and logistics, travel and transport, software as a service, fintech and educational technology in India. It currently has 4,500 crore ($69 million; €58.5 million) in assets under management.