Dairy supply chain co MilkLane raises Rs 27 cr in pre-Series A funding

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MilkLane, a dairy supply chain company, has raised Rs 27 crore ($4 million) in pre-Series A funding from Pioneering Ventures, Schreiber Foods and ultra-high net worth families. The dairy-tech start-up, which controls end-to-end supply chain that ensures high-quality milk to industrial off-takers and consumers, plans to utilise this capital to expand its network of milk collection centres and strengthen its digital and 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 has largely remained unorganised 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 modernising 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 information technology- (IT) enabled process monitoring and data analytics. MilkLane has deployed a comprehensive quality and productivity enhancement programme, 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, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies and milk product manufacturers. The dairy farmers bring the milk to strategically-located bulk cooling tankers, maintained at a temperature of four degree 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 and solids-not-fat (SNF) components and detecting the presence of antibiotics and 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,” said Gaurav Haran, chief operating officer, MilkLane. “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,” he added.

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, Akshaya Kamath, director, Pioneering Ventures, 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,” he added.

After a year of preparation, MilkLane started its milk collection operations in Kuppam, Andhra Pradesh, in January 2017, and within a span of six months, reached an initial milestone of 85,000 litre per day. “We go the extra mile for the dairy farmers with a holistic training programme that educates and empowers them to realise their full potential,” said Haran. “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,” he added.

MilkLane helps dairy farmers by optimising the land-labour-livestock balance, through feed and fodder management, genetics and young stock management, prevention of disease, reproduction management, manure and waste management as well as risk mitigation. It is now associated 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 over 1,00,000 dairy farmers by setting up over 1,000 bulk coolers.

Source: F n B News

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