Pioneering Ventures, an incubator and accelerator for the Indian agriculture and food supply chain space, founded MilkLane in January 2017, and after six months the company now collects and distributes 85,000 liters of milk per day.
The pre-series A funding came from Pioneering Ventures, Schreiber Foods, and “ultra-high net worth families,” MilkLane said. The dairy tech company plans to use the $4m to expand its network of milk collection centers and strengthen its digital and analytics capabilities.
“We aim to improve India’s dairy supply chain by applying international quality standards in technology and innovation to the ‘first mile’ of milk,” Gaurav Haran, COO of MilkLane, said.
“We intend to create a pan-India network of industrial production units, village level bulk coolers and introduce IT-enabled solutions to provide a fresh, safe and steady supply of high quality milk to our partners in the industry.”
Improving India’s milk supply chain
India is currently the world’s largest milk producer (including cow’s milk as well as buffalo and goat) but its collection and distribution processes remain largely unorganized leading to issues such as poor-quality milk contaminated with antibiotics and toxins, MilkLane said.
MilkLane intends to address these challenges by modernizing critical stages of the India’s entire milk supply chain through its integrated procurement system that helps preserve the freshness and quality of milk through real-time process monitoring and data analytics.
The process under MilkLane begins with dairy farmers bringing the milk to strategically-located bulk cooling tankers, maintained at 39.2F (4°C), which preserves the freshness of the milk by inhibiting bacterial growth, the company said.
The collected milk is then undergoes a series of tests, which include determining the fats and solids-not-fat (SNF) components in addition to detecting any antibiotics and/or aflatoxin contamination. When the milk meets these standards set by MilkLane, it is then sent further down the value chain.
MilkLane has more than 8,000 dairy farmers with the company’s bulk cooler operators playing a vital role in creating employment opportunities in rural India. Over the next decade and with its newly-secured funding, the company aims to expands its network to more than 100,000 dairy farmers by setting up more than 1,000 bulk coolers.