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Agritech startup Clover launches D2C app

Clover founders (from left) Santosh Narasipura, Avinash B.R., Gururaj Rao and Arvind Murali have switched to selling freshly sourced vegetables directly to consumers during the pandemicPremium
Clover founders (from left) Santosh Narasipura, Avinash B.R., Gururaj Rao and Arvind Murali have switched to selling freshly sourced vegetables directly to consumers during the pandemic

The new consumer brand Deep Rooted. Co is a demand-backed cultivation and supply chain solution for fruits and vegetables focused on quality, consistency, traceability and a high degree of predictability, the startup said

Bengaluru: Agritech startup Clover, which sells fresh fruits and vegetables, has launched its direct-to-consumer app Deep Rooted, as it moves away from its business-to-business (B2B) model to focus on a D2C business strategy.

The new consumer brand Deep Rooted. Co is a demand-backed cultivation and supply chain solution for fruits and vegetables focused on quality, consistency, traceability and a high degree of predictability, the startup said.

Starting with Bengaluru and Hyderabad, Clover will invest around $2 million in creating farmer-facing input-output technology, investing in supply chain and cold storage capacities and communication to grow the brand. Deep Rooted will follow an omni-channel strategy to cater to existing consumer shopping preferences and presence across modern and general trade.

“With Deep Rooted.Co, our goal is to be India’s largest virtual farmer, facilitated by our full-stack agronomy intervention on the supply side; and an omnichannel presence, along with a consumer-facing app on the demand side. Consumers will get consistent access to zero-contamination, high-quality fruits and vegetables while farmers can experience up to a 3x increase in yield and income improvements," said Avinash B.R, co-founder, Clover.

Clover said its experience in B2B, where has over 90 customers in over 175 locations in Bengaluru and Hyderabad allows it to get a head-start in launching a consumer-focussed business-to-consumer (B2C) brand.

Avinash said the firm’s research conducted in September-October last year, found that consumer behaviour is not to plan the buying of fruits and vegetables but to shop for it when the shortage is noticed.

“We see that consumers are slowly reverting to the pre-covid preference of having the option to shop at neighbourhood kirana and modern trade stores. Deep Rooted.Co will invest in growing its distribution from the current 150 modern trade and neighbourhood stores across Bangalore and Hyderabad to 500 and brand build to aggregate demand over multiple channels, including online via our own consumer app and web e-commerce presence," he added.

Fruits and vegetables will be supplied primarily from its owned greenhouse farms and from a network of over 100 small-medium scale land hold farmers.

Deep Rooted will deliver most of its produce fresh and in under- 24 hours from farms primarily less than 150 km away from large cities.

Gururaj Rao, co-founder, Clover, who also leads the product and technology function said, “The Deep Rooted.Co app is a natural progression for us. We are aiming for upwards of 90,000 app downloads by the end of the year. Aside from shopping and regular promotions, we will also over time integrate product nutrition and storage advice, information on key farming practices and also take requests for farm visit schedules to share more around traceability and transparency."

In February 2020, Clover had raised over $5.5 million in a Series A funding round, from venture capital (firm Omnivore and existing investors Accel and Mayfield.

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