Tech terms like Big Data and IoT are not often associated with the dairy industry, and for many, India does not come first on their list of places they expect to find innovative startup success stories, but Stellapps saw the gap in market as really “a glass of milk half full” and decided to disrupt the dairy industry.
The company was conceived to address pressing problems, the Indian dairy market is set to be the largest in the world, currently valued at $70 billion, and making up 18.5% of global dairy production. But as a region, the Indian dairy industry was lagging behind when it came to yield-per-cow. Experts view one of the most important criteria to fix the deficit and meet the demand expected to be at 210 million liters by 2020-2021 – is through technological advancement in production, processing, storage, and distribution. Queue Stellapps.
Stellapps offers its IoT technology in a full stack. This includes 26 different sensors in the form of wearable devices that collect animal specific data from the cows and buffalos, quality analysis sensors at dairy collection sites that measure fat content to assess the quality of the milk to help with pricing, and sensors that monitor environmental conditions to give dairy collection companies more control over the quality of their product and enable the collection of more transparent information for their end customer.
“We figured it was the right time to use IoT to solve problems across verticals. Agriculture and dairy appeared the most potent, so we decided to stay focused on the sector,” Ranjith Mukundan, Stellapps’ CEO reported to YourStory.
The company was founded in 2011 by 5 individuals with vast experience in tech, ranging from Wipro, to Ericsson, all the way to AT&T and Vodafone– but they had Zero experience in the dairy industry.
“None of us were from an agri/dairy background, so we had to spend a lot of time understanding the vertical to be able to apply our full IoT stack to it. But our lack of experience was an advantage as well: we were able to look at the problems from a fresh perspective,” Ranjith remarked.
They seem to have succeeded in overcoming their learning curve. The startup’s humble beginning started with the founders raising $200,000 with the help of their friends and family but today, the company already landed $3.38 million in funding from Omnivore and expect to close $12-$14 million in series A funding and has just been named among the India Emerging 20 winners.
In the future, Stellapps management plans to invest in creating their own payment processing solutions, as well as work on reducing the prices of their full stacks, to make them available to more farmers across the country.