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Omnivore Partners Adds FR8 to Investment Portfolio

November 1, 2016

Omnivore Partners, one of the pioneers in agtech and agricultural venture capital in India, has invested Rs 6.5 cr (nearly US$1 million) in Chennai-based FR8 – a startup dedicated to advancing the long-haul trucking industry through the use of proprietary technology to bring trucking providers and customers under a united platform.

Launched in June of this year by Vasanth Immanuel and Jayendran Panneerselvam, this is the first round of funding for the company that has 2,500 trucks and is handling more than 1,000 orders per month across seven cities – Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, NCR (National Capital Region), Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Madurai.

“Omnivore believes that FR8 will transform long haul trucking across India while benefiting the agribusiness ecosystem through optimized backhauling of farm commodities,” Mark Khan told The Tech Portal. “We are excited for FR8 to join the Omnivore portfolio and look forward to working closely with the team.”

This investment from Omnivore’s Rs 260 cr (US$39 million) fund will support FR8 in its plans to expand its services from 10 to 17 cities.

“We are planning to grow 10 times over the next 12 months,” Vasanth Immanuel told the Economic Times.
The company will also use the funds to enhance its technology and expand its team as it strives to become a leading technology-driven disruptor of India’s logistics industry over the next decade.

Indeed, this venture is well positioned to capitalize upon one of India’s fastest growing sectors, as the country’s $300 billion logistics industry is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.17 percent by 2020, according to the report Logistics Market in India 2015-2020 by Novonous reports The Tech Portal.

Another recent investment in India ag-logistics space involving transportation occurred in mid-September when Lawrencedale Agro Processing India Pvt Ltd. (LEAF) raised an undisclosed Series B  round of funding from U.S.-based venture capital fund, Unitus Impact and Denmark-based BESTELLER Foundation.

LEAF is a complete service provider along the entire agricultural value chain from field to retailer. The company embraces an integrated approach that includes best farming practices, the supply of genetically advanced inputs, technical support that lowers post-harvest waste, access to cold storage facilities, and the processing, packaging, and transporting of fresh produce to end users in order to ensure the accessibility of high quality, fresh foods.

Currently, the company engages with 3,000 farmers and handles 7,000 tons of fresh produce per year and works with more than 300 retailers across South India. Within the next few years, the company is looking to expand its operations to a scale where it engages with 10,000 farmers.

 

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