British International Investment

Wolkus Technology Solutions Private Limited (Fasal)

South AsiaFood & Agriculture

Fasal is an artificial intelligence-powered platform for the agriculture ecosystem that records a variety of growing conditions on farms. It then uses artificial intelligence and data science to make predictions and insights.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

This investment is part of our 'VC Scale-up' strategy to support the growth of the most impactful companies in our venture capital funds portfolio.

Fasal’s climate-smart precision advisory is expected to help water-stressed smallholder horticulture farmers reduce irrigation water consumption, in turn helping farmers become resilient in face of climate change, and ultimately helping meet our planet’s sustainability goals.

Fasal is also improving economic opportunities for farmers by: (a) reducing farming costs on inputs such as pesticides, fertilisers, water and diesel (b) increasing yields; and (c) increasing offtake price.

Impact information

Applies to investments made from 2019 onwards. The tabs in this section define what we expect to achieve through the investment, assessing the potential impact of the investment against six dimensions of impact. You can find more details on our methodology of assessing impact here.

What?

Impact
  • Improves resilience of water-stressed farmers by optimising their water use in irrigation; also reduces emissions by optimising the use of water pumps that run on diesel (SDG 13).

  • Improves economic opportunities for farmers (SDG 8.5).

How?

Primary Secondary
  • Direct: Fasal helps smallholder horticulture farmers reduce irrigation water consumption, by providing them advisory on the quantum of water required for irrigation. This builds the resilience of farmers who are exposed to water stress.

  • Indirect: Optimising water use in irrigation leads to reduction in the use of water pumps that consume diesel, and this helps in reducing emissions.

Direct: Fasal’s advisory and market access improves farmer incomes by: a) reducing farming costs (by reducing spending on inputs such as pesticides, fertilizers, water & diesel); b) increasing production volume (by increasing per hectare yield); and c) increasing offtake price (through Fasal Fresh).

Who?

Stakeholder Geography Characteristics
Planet

N/A

N/A

Horticulture farmers

India

Nearly all the farmers today reside in India, across nine states and 22 districts. Fasal provides advisory across 18 horticulture crops (including grapes, pomegranate, apple, chilli, banana). 39 per cent of farmers live below $6.85 per day [2017 PPP].

How much?

Scale Depth/Duration

Through our investment, we expect Fasal to reach an additional 4,000 farmers.

Depth: Over the last three years, Fasal has saved 23.11 billion litres of water, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 10,000 MT. To date, Fasal’s farmers have observed the following improvements across farming practices: a) 40-60 per cent decrease in water consumption; b) 15-30 per cent decrease in pesticide use; c) overall farming cost reductions of up to 15 per cent; and d) 15-30 per cent increase in farming yields.

Contribution/additionality

Contribution/additionality

Financial additionality: We are helping the company reach its target fundraise size.

Risk

Execution Risk

Impact is interlinked with commercial success.

Environmental and social information

  • Environmental and social summary

    A high-level description of the environmental and social aspects of the investment. This may include a summary of key environmental and social risks identified during environmental and social due diligence (ESDD); key elements of an environmental and social action plan (ESAP); or ways in which we plan to support the investee improve environmental and social standards, such as through their environmental and social management system (ESMS); as well as any other priority areas agreed with the investee.

  • Environmental and social risk

    A risk category rating, which indicates the level of environmental and social risk associated with an investment. For an explanation of the categorisations used, see here. We consistently provide an environmental and social risk category for all investments screened from 2023 onwards.

Environmental and social summary

Rated medium-low inherent risk given agri-tech sector focus. Risks are typical of the sector and will be monitored by our co-investment partner via their ESAP.

Environmental and social risk

Medium-Low

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    First published

    When the investment was first published on the website database.

    :
    March 2024
    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    :
    March 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.

    :
    D5744
    Status

    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).

    :
    Active
    Region

    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.

    :
    South Asia
    Sector

    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    :
    Food & Agriculture

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Equity
    Start date :
    December 2023
    Amount :
    $2.5m
    Currency of investment :
    INR
    Domicile

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.

    :
    India
    Climate finance

    Indicates whether the investment is climate finance qualified or partially climate finance qualified and the type of climate finance (adaptation, mitigation or both). We define climate finance using the multilateral development bank (MDB) and the International Development Finance Club (IDFC) Common Principles climate finance methodology. See Common Principles for Climate Mitigation Finance Tracking and Common Principles for Climate Change Adaptation Finance Tracking. We provide the climate finance qualification and type for commitments from 2020 onwards, which is when we launched our Climate Change Strategy.

    :
    Fully qualified
    Climate finance type:
    Dual

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