A Cambridge company developing a crop intelligence platform that is revolutionising agricultural supply chains globally has entered the Disruptive Technology category of the Business Weekly Awards.
KisanHub, based at the Future Business Centre in Cambridge, is a software as a solutions service focused towards the AgriTech sector. It has a ‘to die for’ advisory board, a high profile chair and big hitting collaborators and investors.
CEO Dr Sachin Shende and COO Giles Barker had the vision to build a team of multi-disciplined individuals to tackle the challenge of global food security. The aim is to provide a platform to connect supply chains to help them take more informed decisions within the UK and internationally.
Dr Shende holds a Ph.D in Computational Hydraulics from Loughborough University and prior to founding KisanHub in 2012, managed the development of bond trading and research analytics platform for Barclays Global Investors and BlackRock.
Giles Barker is a graduate of Henley Business School and his family background is in agriculture in the East of England.
The executive chair is Sir Jim Paice, former Minister of State for Agriculture and Food, past chairman of First Milk Ltd, NED of Camgrain, trustee/firector of NIAB TAG and of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust.
The advisory board features Hanadi Jabado, executive director of the Entrepreneurship Centre and director of Accelerate Cambridge at Judge Business School and Cambridge University computer vision and robotics guru Roberto Cipolla.
KisanHub was born out of a desire to give the agri community everywhere a sophisticated, meaningful, yet simple, decision-support platform.
A cloud-based enterprise platform for growers, KisanHub Enterprise Platform is built to address four key needs of any agri-enterprise:-
Accurate data capturing and recording
Data analytics and visualisation
Data-driven decisions and recommendations
KisanHub Enterprise Platform is ideal for enterprises which source produce from multiple growers and/or provide in-season agronomy advice to them.
A trials platform is being developed in collaboration with the UK’s largest trials provider, NIAB and is ideal for the companies who conduct field trials to test new varieties, plant protection products or new agronomy practices. The platform is a bundle of apps to capture, store and manage weather, farm, field and crop research data from small plots, field scale plots or commercial fields.
NIAB is a major international centre for plant research, crop evaluation and agronomy and is developing technical solutions and industry leading products for NIAB TAG members, in collaboration with KisanHub.
In July 2016, KisanHub raised over $1 million to support the next phase of growth for its software platform. At that time, KisanHub already had a user base of over 1,000 farmers and multiple large enterprises. The company raised follow-on funding in January 2018 of $2.43m to expand its farm management and data analytics software platform capabilities, with a focus on enhancing weather predictions.
The round was led by UK-based B2B tech venture capital firms Notion Capital and Cambridge’s IQ Capital. Calibrate Management and other angel investors also participated in the round.
KisanHub uses big data analytics, cloud computing, and machine learning to compile data from satellite imagery, weather stations, soil sensors, and other sources.
The platform offers yield predictions, pesticide application monitoring and other features for potato growing, which helps sellers manage contracts and supports farmers’ decision-making.
It also integrates market data and compliance requirements for potatoes, and provides information and makes recommendations on crop protection products.
KisanHub’s target customers are agriculture enterprises, such as suppliers, processors, and retailers that own some of their own farmland but work with a network of contract farmers. The company is able to integrate enterprises’ existing software or excel systems to provide a bespoke solution.