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Arjun Technology Ventures

Arjun Technology Ventures

Businesses with a social focus often find it difficult to raise enough cash to build traction prior to a funding round, or need money to meet clients’ needs whilst waiting for larger scale funding to complete. The latter was the case for Arjun Technology Ventures when Cambridge Social Ventures referred its founders, Dr Sachin Shende and Giles Barker, to Foundation East. Within nine months this tech startup secured over $1million to seed its next growth phase. Its founders are grateful for Foundation East’s support at such an important time…

Arjun Technology Ventures, a tech startup social enterprise, launched in 2015 with its innovative ‘software-as-a-service’ subscription based business, Kisanhub. Kisanhub is a ‘big data based one-stop shop’, in the form of a dashboard, providing all the information farmers need to grow more crops and use less resources, wherever they are in the world. Market-ready and supported by Cambridge Social Ventures, a cash injection of £100,000 was required to help them meet clients’ needs whilst an investment round was being completed.

“KisanHub, Arjun’s launch product, is a comprehensive, easy to use online dashboard that looks set to become indispensable for profitable precision farming. With NIAB rolling the system out to members and two more large agri' users to join shortly, KisanHub is expected to have thousands of users within the coming months. In spite of this, mainstream lenders were unable to provide the cash injection needed to support them through a funding round due to them being an early stage social impact business with an unproven, forecast-driven plan,” explains Bob Shimmon, business loans business manager for Foundation East.

“It was clear that Giles and Sachin had a strong business plan, excellent mentoring support from Cambridge Social Ventures and had made significant progress with prospective customers.  We were delighted to be able to approve the loan, aware of the enormous impact this product could make,” he concludes.

Indeed, KisanHub will improve decision making for farmers, enabling them to grow more crops for less resources. As well as the financial impact this will bring to the agricultural community, it also delivers numerous positive environmental impacts. KisanHub aims to decrease its members’ usage of chemical fertilisers by 5 -10% per application and to make a substantial impact on water waste within agriculture too. An incredible 70% of all the world's water is used in global agriculture. Of that, around 50% is wasted. Evolving KisanHub products, that pick up moisture levels and report back through the KisanHub dashboard, will enable substantial savings of this precious natural resource.

“Thanks to Foundation East we were able to secure £100k of loan funding at an important time for our business. We required this money to scale up our operations to meet our clients’ immediate needs. Cambridge Social Ventures put us in contact with Foundation East, who were fantastic in understanding our business and could see the potential in what we were doing for UK farming,” concludes Giles.