Agtech startup DeHaat to take on Nashik-based Freshtrop through a business transfer deal

Agtech startup DeHaat, a full-stack platform, has signed a business transfer agreement with Nashik-based Freshtrop Fruits, one of the country’s leading grape exporters, for an undisclosed sum. The deal paves the way for the Gurugram-based ag-tech startup to tie into the ecosystem the Nashik-based company’s export network, sorting, packing, and pre-cooling centers and workforce, including its top management. Founded in 1992, Freshtrop has direct relationships with more than 50 retail stores in 20 countries and its 74-year-old promoter Ashok Motian has 25 years of experience, Shashank Kumar, co-founder and managing director of DeHaad.

 A valuable purchase

    For DeHaat, which last exported 70 containers of grapes to Verona, the purchase of Freshtrop is considered valuable because the latter delivered 550 containers of fruit in the same period. This is the seventh company bought by DeHaad and is by far the biggest strategic investment, Kumar said, adding that Motiani proposed the deal because his company’s business had stagnated over the past decade despite  20-25 percent profits. before taxes, interest, and depreciation. “We are paying a major part of the cost now and the rest will be paid in two-and-a-half years”, Kumar said.   Ashok Motiani, Managing Director, of Freshtrop Fruit, was quoted in a statement released on the occasion as saying, “There is a fundamental alignment of value systems in both organizations of farmer-first approach, respect for everyone in the value chain, maintaining the integrity and investing in innovation for further value creation. Hence, we feel that this association would be beneficial to all stakeholders”.  

 Investments in innovative tech    

The investment aligns with the company’s vision to not only provide impetus to grape exports from India to the globe but also build research and development capabilities to grow new varieties of grapes, offering improved value propositions to farmers across western parts of the country, the DeHaat co-founder and CEO said. Pointing out that DeHaat established its exports business 18 months ago and is today exporting over 20 agri-produces to the Middle East, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, he said Freshtrop also exports other fruits such as mangoes and pomegranates. Freshtrop Fruits has continuously invested in innovative technology and was the first to introduce blister packaging and certifications such as Global GAP and BRC, which make grapes exportable. Freshtrop has two state-of-the-art packaging facilities in Maharashtra. His partnership with DeHaat will be implemented from the next grape harvest season.

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