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Omnivore Partners Raises $46 million to Hit First Close of Second Fund

February 12, 2018

Mumbai-based ag and food tech-focused venture capital firm Omnivore Partners has reached the first close of its second fund, raising $46 million out of a targeted $75 million. Reported investors include the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), RBL Bank, Sorenson Impact Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF), Ceniarth, and German government development bank KfW.

Co-founded by Mark Kahn and Jinesh Shah in 2010, Omnivore Partners now has offices in Mumbai, New Delhi, and Bengaluru and focuses on venture capital investments spanning Seed and Series A rounds for companies in the agtech sector including digital platforms, precision ag, IoT, UAVs, remote sensing, and Big Data solutions. Omnivore also focuses on companies creating branded food products and novel ingredients, along with start-ups looking to improve rural livelihoods with supply chain, water management, and fintech solutions for smallholder farmers.

The global span of investors is a change for the firm. Kahn told the Economic Times that “In our first fund, it was 100% domestic investors. For the first close of our second fund, we deliberately chose to focus on raising funds from foreign investors. The value add they bring includes defining and measuring impact, focus on environmental and government policies.” He went on to explain that they expect a 50-50 split between domestic investors and existing investors for the second half of the fund.

Kahn told GAI News in October of 2017 when the fund was announced that Omnivore plans to invest in up to 20 agtech and innovative rural startups, with a targeted acquisition of between 30 to 35 percent interest in each portfolio company.

India Remains Ripe for Ag Investment

Despite the broadening of the economy in India, agriculture still plays a vital role, with over 54 percent of the population engaged in agriculture and allied activities. The sector contributes 17 percent to the country’s Gross Value Added (GVA). That discrepancy points to the fact that agriculture remains primarily a smallholder concern. That makes Omnivore’s focus on startups providing supply chain and other solutions for small farms key. Right about the time Omnivore announced their second fund, Farm Taaza Produce Pvt. Ltd – an Indian fresh produce supply chain management and business-to-business (B2B) agtech platform – raised an $8 million Series A. It was just one of several supply chain providers targeting emerging markets.

 

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