MilkLane raises INR 27 crore seed funding04.12.2017
The dairy start-up controls end-to-end supply chain that ensures high quality milk for industrial off-takers and consumers
MilkLane, a dairy supply chain company, has raised INR 27 crore (USD 4 million) in pre-Series A funding from Pioneering Ventures, Schreiber Foods and ultra-high net worth families. The dairy-tech company plans to utilize this capital to expand its network of milk collection centers and strengthen its digital & analytics capabilities in the supply chain.
India is the largest milk producer in the world with millions working across the industry’s supply chain. Even then the sector largely remains unorganized with collection and distribution still underdeveloped. This has led to problems like poor quality milk which can be contaminated with antibiotics and toxins. MilkLane attempts to address these challenges by fundamentally transforming and modernizing critical stages of the entire supply chain. Its integrated procurement system helps maintain strong checks and preserves the freshness and quality of milk through effective amalgamation of technology. In addition to that, the company provides high-quality toxin-free cattle feed to mitigate health risks caused due to prolonged feeding of mould infested feeds/fodder which can contaminate the milk with aflatoxins.
The company manages the entire supply chain from farm to processing, applying real time IT enabled process monitoring and data analytics. MilkLane has deployed a comprehensive quality and productivity enhancement program including producer training and extension services and seeks the best quality at source. The company procures milk from selected dairy farmers and delivers it to industrial scale off-takers such as industrial processors, FMCG companies and milk product manufacturers.
The dairy farmers bring the milk to strategically located bulk cooling tankers, maintained at a temperature of four degrees Celsius, which preserves the freshness of the milk by inhibiting bacterial growth. The collected milk is then subjected to a series of tests, which include determining the fats & solids-not-fat (SNF) components and detecting the presence of antibiotics & aflatoxin contamination, to keep track of its safety and purity. Only when the milk meets the high standards set by MilkLane, it is then supplied further down the value chain.
“We aim to improve India’s dairy supply chain by applying international quality standards in technology and innovation to the ‘first mile’ of milk. We intend to create a pan-India network of industrial production units, village level bulk coolers and introduce IT-enabled solutions to provide a fresh, safe and steady supply of high quality milk to our partners in the industry”, said Gaurav Haran, COO of MilkLane.
MilkLane was founded by Pioneering Ventures, an incubator and accelerator of projects within the Indian agriculture and food supply chain space. Speaking on the occasion, Pioneering Ventures’ Director, Akshaya Kamath said, “We intend to develop ventures that generate sustainable financial returns while contributing to the development of rural India, thereby ultimately improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of farmers in the country. From the well-being of the dairy farmer to providing high quality milk to the customers, MilkLane brings the best of both the worlds. We are excited to partner with them on this journey”.
After a year of preparation, MilkLane started its milk collection operations in January 2017 at Kuppam, Andhra Pradesh, and within a span of six months reached an initial milestone of 85,000 liters per day.
“We go the extra mile for the dairy farmers with a holistic training program that educates and empowers them to realize their full potential. Our value-added services like enabling animal loans and insurance and providing veterinary supervision and breeding services are designed to ease their burdens and help them become independent entrepreneurs,” said Gaurav.
MilkLane helps dairy farmers by optimizing the land-labor-livestock balance, through feed and fodder management, genetics and young stock management, prevention of disease, reproduction management, manure & waste management as well as risk mitigation.
MilkLane is associated today with more than 8,000 dairy farmers to improve their yield and income. The company’s bulk cooler operators play a vital role in creating employment opportunities in rural India. Over the next decade MilkLane looks forward to improving the lives of more than a 100,000 dairy farmers by setting up over 1,000 bulk coolers.