Type of Investment

Risk Capital

Project Stage

Test & Transition

Length of Investment

2017 & 2020

Investment Overview

EM3 AgriServices provided pay per use farm mechanisation services to smallholder farmers in India.


The Development Challenge

Over 50% of the Indian population is dependent on the agricultural sector for its livelihood. Low productivity among smallholder farmers contributes to millions of Indian farmers living in poverty, with rice and wheat yields within India trailing global yields by 70%. A significant barrier to inclusive growth and increased productivity is the lack of access to mechanised farming equipment, which is too expensive for most smallholder farmers. As a result, millions of farmers are left relying on an informal and inefficient market of service providers that is both unreliable and unable to address large demand.


The Innovation

EM3 developed a solution to tackle the challenges that Indian smallholder farmers face when trying to access mechanised farming equipment. Through an innovative business model which formalised the existing informal service channels, EM3 made farming mechanisation affordable to rural Indian farmers. EM3 connected equipment owners with smallholder farmers in need of services, offering on demand, pay per use services of harvesters, tractors, and other farming equipment. Through EM3’s platform, smallholder farmers accessed end to end farming services such as land preparation, sowing and harvesting, all billed per acre or per hour.


Our Investment

GIF made a $7.4m USD equity investment in EM3 as part of its Series B round alongside Indian investor Aspada Investment Company. GIF provided follow on funding in 2020 of $1.4m.


Investment Objective

To help EM3 build out the mechanisation as a service market through scaling its existing centres and partnerships, and to build additional farming services lines.


Why we invested

High potential social return by providing smallholder farmers with access to mechanisation as a service, leading to improved farm yields and incomes for smallholder farmers.

Strong management team with deep understanding of the local agricultural industry, on the ground experience with the Indian tractor market and proven ability to build partnerships.

Business model that is well-adapted to the local agriculture landscape, building on top of existing relationships with village agents, and benefiting each actor in the value chain.

Significant scale potential through organic growth, as well as institutional and government partnerships in a large addressable market that is currently unserved.


EM3 in numbers

Over 300

Farm equipment centres created in Rajasthan


Farmers have received mechanisation services

Use of GIF Funds

GIF led an equity investment of $7.4million (as part of $8.6million Series B equity round alongside Series A investor, Aspada Investment Company). The funds were used to spur EM3’s growth including expanding the staff, technology development, and strategic purchases of farming equipment, and helping EM3 further scale rapidly into inputs delivery, procurement, and crop management advice in the future. GIF provided an additional $1.4m follow-on investment to spur development of a tractor-led Local Business Unit model.


To help EM3 to reach profitability by increasing the number of active users, as well as the farmer retention rate, test viability of the variable cost model, and analysis of benefits.

Impact to Date

To date, EM3 has provided mechanisation services to over 200,000 acres of land and 24,000 farmers within the Indian states of Madhya Pradesh (MP), Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh (UP). EM3 farmers benefit from improved availability and reliability of mechanisation services at transparent prices, reliable access to a wider variety of farm services, and reduced cost of mechanisation, ultimately leading to increased farming productivity.

EM3 has also created over 300 farm equipment centres (also known as Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs)) in Rajasthan, providing monitoring and auditing functions on behalf of the CHCs to report to the government. EM3 also provides high-end inputs to the CHCs and offers other support to improve the quality of services the CHCs provide to their farmers.