Intello Labs has raised a USD $5.9 million (INR 45 crore) Series A round led by Saama Capital, alongside global agritech funds GROW (Singapore) and SVG Ventures THRIVE (USA). Existing investors Omnivore and Nexus Venture Partners also participated in this round.
Intello Labs digitizes quality across fresh produce supply chains, reducing food waste by detecting variance from specifications and matching output to needs. With $500 billion of global fruits & vegetables (F&V) wasted annually, Intello Labs is bringing transparency and standardization to quality assessment, reducing value risk and food waste. The company aims to become the de-facto quality platform across F&V value chains for trading, procurement, grading, pricing, traceability, and marketing.
Based in Gurgaon, Intello Labs was founded in 2016 by Milan Sharma, Nishant Mishra, Himani Shah and Devendra Chandani. The first three co-founders studied together at IIT Bombay, while Devendra is an MDI Gurgaon postgraduate. Intello Labs’ founding team brings together diverse backgrounds and skill sets, including data science (Milan), computer vision (Nishant), corporate strategy (Himani), and analytics (Devendra). Intello Labs raised a USD 2.0 million Seed round in March 2019 from Nexus Venture Partners and Omnivore.
Intello Labs’ clients include fresh produce growers, packers, aggregators, exporters, processors, foodservice, and retailers. The company is aggressively growing in India while also pursuing global markets, including China, Southeast Asia, and the USA. Some of Intello Labs’ larger clients include Reliance Fresh, Dole, Ocean Spray, and many of the leading egrocery companies in China and Southeast Asia.
According to Milan Sharma, Co-Founder & CEO of Intello Labs, “This funding will help us accelerate growth in international markets, specifically the USA and across Asia Pacific. There has been a significant spike in interest from these markets over the past few months, which was further accelerated by COVID-19, and now we have the firepower to go after these opportunities. This new demand combined with the stickiness of our existing clients validates the fact that our products bring much-needed transparency and standardization to fresh produce value chains.”
Intello Labs has developed a suite of digital products that leverage AI tools, including computer vision and deep learning. Intello Track is a mobile app for checking quality across the F&V supply chain, which uses smartphone cameras to capture images, and then objectively grades them based on color, size, and visual defects. Intello Sort is a machine that segregates fresh produce based on quality, ensuring 100% adherence to specifications while allowing the sorting of multiple commodities on a single, low-cost, compact line. Intello Pack monitors F&V quality immediately before customer dispatch, optimizing packing efficiency while helping with the management of packing personnel. Finally, Intello Deep is a handheld NIR scanner that inspects intrinsic quality parameters, allowing for the detection of Brix, pH, TSS, dry matter, moisture, and pesticide residues.
Commenting on the investment, Kiranbir Nag, Partner at Saama Capital, said, “There is a rapid and growing need for better and faster quality assessment of fresh produce across the value chain to improve the end consumers’ experience and to minimize the already high losses through wastages. Intello’s scalable and non-destructive AI based digital suite of solutions is well placed to become an industry standard tool especially for the large buyers of and traders in fresh produce. The team has demonstrated this through its marquee and growing global customer base. We are excited to partner with the team for their next phase of growth.”