Nepal has recently seen a tremendous upsurge in e-commerce platforms. As pandemic rages, more people in the urban areas of the country are shopping online in greater frequency pushing e-commerce at the forefront of retail. Kheti, a flagship product of DV Excellus, is leading this effort in the Agri ecosystem through a comprehensive end-to-end platform. Through their data-driven digital marketplace, Kheti, founded by Debesh Pradhan and Tulsi Giri, is connecting farmers to the end customers.
Kheti delivers fresh seasonal produce to both households and businesses alike in Kathmandu and Pokhara through its integrated web- and mobile- based platform Kheti Foods. What’s more, the origins of the local produce can be traced back to a specific farm through Kheti’s data-driven Farm Management platform. This gives the consumers complete transparency across the entire supply chain assuring quality. Kheti Foods also offers subscription packages where a household can sign up for weekly deliveries depending on their needs. On top of that, the Agri-tech startup has partnered with more than 50 restaurants in Kathmandu and 20 hotels and restaurants in Pokhara. The services provided by Kheti Foods proved to be particularly handy during the pandemic. It grew by more than 50 percent supporting more than 3000 customers.
In tandem, through Kheti Farm, farmers can order anything they need for their farm – be it seedlings, fertilizers or even machineries. Using the Kheti Farm Management tool, currently active in 11 districts, farmers can also maintain farm records and get customized expert recommendations to reduce production cost and increase their yield. This is done through data collected from soil tests, climate condition and expected market demand. Farmers are also privy to sustainable farming practices and pest management. The enterprise works with more than 10,000 small farmers. Through these three connected platforms, Kheti, which started in operations in early 2019, ensures that one the produce is harvested, it sources the produce and supplies it directly to its customers. Kheti even collaborates with local banks for Agri-financing and the government to provide subsidies to farmers.
Kheti is one of the beneficiaries of COVID-19 MSME Fund Nepal, supported by SDC and FMO, and managed by One to Watch (OTW). Through the Fund, the enterprise was able to get a loan from NMB Bank. OTW also seeks to provide technical assistance to Kheti through tailored business development services. Since, the company wants to expand its services to more districts and increase its customer base, OTW will connect Kheti to various investors and help the startup put together pitch materials.