ABB Technology Ventures invests in Indian food industry company

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

Stellapps has separately initiated a strategic collaboration with ABB to create a digital offering for Indian customers.
Stellapps has separately initiated a strategic collaboration with ABB to create a digital offering for Indian customers.

Related tags: Abb, India, Milk, Dairy farmers

Industrial technology company ABB has invested in Stellapps Technologies through its venture capital unit, ABB Technology Ventures (ATV).

Stellapps is India’s first end-to-end dairy supply chain solutions company, in use by more than 750,000 farmers daily. Founded in 2011, the Bangalore-based startup builds automated tools leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) and advanced analytics to improve milk production and quality for the country's dairy farms, collection centers and processors. This is ATV’s first investment in India.

The cornerstone of the Stellapps solution is SmartMoo, an analytics platform covering the entire value chain from milk production to farmer payments. SmartMoo can track an animal’s health and yield through a wearable sensor, measuring parameters such as milk quantity and yield, and monitor conditions under which the milk is stored, transported and distributed.

Helping farmers

India’s $70bn dairy market is one of the largest in the world by volume and Stellapps reaches a broad cross-section of the dairy industry, including the broad base of rural dairy farmers.

Most of these lower-volume farmers have previously lacked actionable data to improve their operations but through the Stellapps platform, free for their use, data regarding the quality and quantity of milk, the history of production by each farmer and the fees owed to them, enables immediate feedback and peer learning opportunities to improve productivity and boost income.

Other needs in the Indian dairy industry such as improved inventory management, reducing deterioration of perishable food items, elimination of waiting times outside processing plants and better service delivery are also being addressed by the Stellapps platform.

In addition to the equity investment, Stellapps has separately initiated a strategic collaboration with ABB to create a digital offering for Indian customers to address these operational challenges.

Market opportunity

Grant Allen, managing director at ATV, said the company was impressed with Stellapps’ software and the large market opportunity.

"We believe their technology will have a major impact on India's thriving dairy economy, especially the many dairy farmers running smaller, home-based operations,”​ Allen said.

“We’ve also worked closely with our control technologies business to complement ABB’s existing offerings, notably our manufacturing execution system (MES) business, part of the ABB Ability Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) offering. Cementing a partnership with Stellapps by becoming an equity investor enables ABB to go to market in India with a cloud-connected, IoT-led, digital dairy solution.”

Stellapps CEO Ranjith Mukundan said Stellapps is entering a stage of accelerating growth.

“We are excited to partner with ABB Technology Ventures and tap into ABB’s expertise and global reach for industrial automation solutions, particularly for food & beverage,”​ Mukundan said.

Investment partners

ATV currently has more than 20 active portfolio companies and has invested nearly $200m into startups including robotics, drones, industrial IoT, AI/machine learning, cybersecurity, and grid automation.

The Series B investment round was led by IndusAge Partners and included new investors Qualcomm Ventures and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (through its program-related investment team in London).

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