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Agri-tech startup Clover launched it’s direct to consumer brand “Deep Rooted.Co” with a consumer app available as “Deep Rooted” on the Andriod and iOS platform.

Deep Rooted.Co is a demand-backed supply chain solution for fruits and vegetables focused on quality, consistency, traceability and a high degree of predictability.

Catering to a growing market opportunity, estimated close to $100 billion in the B2B and B2C segment for vegetables and fruits, starting with Bengaluru and Hyderabad, Clover will invest over $2mn in creating farmer-facing input-output technology, investing in supply chain and cold storage capacities and communication to grow the brand Deep Rooted.Co.

Deep Rooted.Co will focus on catering to an urban city’s need for fruits and vegetables via a “consumer demand-led cultivation” process. Deep Rooted.Co will follow an “omnichannel” strategy to cater to existing consumer shopping preference in the category and presence across modern and general trade.

Virtual farmer

Speaking at the launch, Clover cofounder Avinash B R said with Deep Rooted.Co, the company’s goal is to be India’s largest virtual farmer, facilitated by our full-stack agronomy intervention on the supply side.

“We will have an omnichannel presence, along with a consumer-facing app on the demand side. Consumers will get consistent access to zero-contamination, high-quality fruits and vegetables while farmers can experience up to a 3x increase in yield and income improvements,” said Avinash B R.

Clover’s experience in B2B, where it was already a preferred supplier to over 90 customers in over 175 locations based in Bengaluru and Hyderabad allows it to get a head-start in launching a consumer-focussed B2C brand. The Covid-19 lockdown led the company to bring forward its B2C launch while gathering valuable first-hand experience in consumer tastes and preferences in the fruits and vegetable category.

Avinash B R also opined that the company’s research conducted over September-October last year found that consumer behaviour is not to plan the buying of fruits and vegetables but to shop for it when the shortage is noticed.

“We see that consumers are slowly reverting to the pre-Covid preference of having the option to shop at neighbourhood Kirana and modern trade stores. Deep Rooted.Co will invest in growing its distribution from the current 150 modern trade and neighbourhood stores across Bangalore and Hyderabad to 500 and brand build to aggregate demand over multiple channels, including online via our own consumer app and web e-commerce presence,” said Avinash B R.

High-quality fruits and vegetables will be supplied primarily from its owned greenhouse and hydroponic farms and from a network of over 100 small-medium scale land hold farmers.

Perishable vegetables

Deep Rooted.Co stands on the three important pillars of ‘Fresh’, ‘Clean’ and ‘Community’. It delivers most of its produce fresh and in under 24 hours from farms primarily less than 150 km away from urban cities.

All highly perishable vegetables are grown under the guidance of a team of 10 plus agronomists who guide the farmers from the “seed-to-harvest” stage. Mostly greenhouse and hydroponically grown produce is contamination-free.

Rooted in the local community, the brand is steadfast in its focus to strike an equitable balance between farmers and consumers. Farmers should benefit from technology inputs that increase farm productivity at scale and access to consumer demand that provides an opportunity to increase incomes and the consumer should benefit from consistent access to high quality produce.

Also launched at the event was the Deep Rooted.Co consumer app, available for both Android and Apple users. Clover cofounder Gururaj Rao who leads the product and technology function said Deep Rooted.Co app is a natural progression for the company.

“We are aiming for upwards of 90,000 app downloads by the end of the year. Aside from shopping and regular promotions, we will also over time integrate product nutrition and storage advice, information on key farming practices and also take requests for farm visit schedules to share more around traceability and transparency,” said Gururaj Rao.

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