Omnivore Partners Makes Key Investments in Indian Agri-Food Sector
August 10, 2015
By Lynda Kiernan
Omnivore Partners, the first early stage, venture capital strategy firm focused on agriculture and food technologies in India, has been active in 2015. The $50 million fund manager is having a noticeable influence on the country’s impact investment sector, which is often viewed as lacking investment opportunities.
In July Omnivore Partners announced a commitment to investment an undisclosed amount into Bangalore-based IT and services startup Retigence Technologies. Launched in 2010 by Srinibas Behera and Pramod Mishra, Retigence supplies business intelligence solutions via inventory optimization systems for retail chains through software that can eliminate the difficulties of over stocking or stocking-out. Its cornerstone product, Predictive Analytics Engine (PRAN), has been configured using multiple algorithms to provide businesses with a “Big Data” inventory management framework.
Back in early April of this year, Global AgInvesting also reported that Omnivore Partners invested in Ecozen, maker of solar powered cold storage units that are sold or rented units to Indian farmers, who then have the option to store their perishable crops instead of having to sell at low prices. In exchange for the investment, Omnivore will receive a minority stake in the operation and a seat on the company’s board. Ecozen plans to use the funds to expand its market reach into more areas in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, and to improve the business’ supply chain including its logistics and production.
In that same month, Bangalore-based food processing company, Y-Cook secured a Series A round of funding of an undisclosed amount from Omnivore, also in exchange for a minority stake in the company and a seat on its board.
Founded in 2010 by Janardhan Swahar and Vijay Reddy, Y-Cook is the first company in India to provide healthy snacks, including sweet corn kernels, baby corn, chickpeas, and chutneys, that through the use of Y-Cook’s proprietary processing and packaging technology, will remain fresh in ambient climates for up to a year without refrigeration or the use of preservatives.
The company will use the capital from this series of fundraising to expand its business footprint both in India and overseas, improve production capacity, and to realize its plans to increase its offerings to include ‘baby potatoes’ and ‘boiled peanuts’.
Other Omnivore portfolio companies include, Skymet Weather Services, Khedut Agro Engineering, MITRA, FrontalRain Technologies, Arohan Foods, Barrix Agro Sciences, Stellapps Technologies, and Eruvaka Technologies.
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