In its efforts to bolster the India’s startup ecosystem, Microsoft announced the launch of the program, “The Microsoft for Agritech Startups” on June 3, 2020. The program is intended to help startups build industry-specific solutions, scale, and grow with access to deep technology, business, and marketing resources.
This program offers the best-in-class tech and business enablement resources to help agritech startups in India that are committed to driving transformation in agriculture. Startups can get access to Azure FarmBeats, which can help them focus on core value-adds instead of the undifferentiated heavy lifting of data engineering.
There are about 450 active agri-startups in India. They have received a venture capital funding of $545 million since 2014. This boom in the agri-startups space is creating a much needed ecosystem to bring digitisation and automation to millions of small and marginal farmers, who are suffering because of the inefficiencies of the old and bureaucratic system.
“Sustainable agricultural technology can transform the global food landscape. Agritech startup innovations are addressing some of our key challenges connected to agriculture and food production. The Microsoft for Agritech Startups program is among the early steps in our journey towards empowering these startups in India and transforming global agricultural practices.”Sangeeta Bavi, Director, Startup Ecosystem, Microsoft India
Spread across three tiers, the program offers a range of benefits, including tech enablement and business resources:
- All startups: Qualified Seed to Series C startups can boost their businesses with Azure benefits (including free credits), unlimited technical support and help with Azure Marketplace onboarding.
- Co-sell startups: Startups with enterprise-ready solutions can scale quickly with joint go-to-market strategies, technical support and new sales opportunities with Microsoft’s partner ecosystem.
- Co-create solutions: Startups that are looking to create digital agriculture solutions have the opportunity to co-build customized solutions with Azure FarmBeats without investing in deep data engineering resources. Using Azure FarmBeats, startups can acquire, aggregate and process agricultural data and rapidly develop their own AI/ML models.