Monthly Archives

October 2016

Trucking startup FR8 raises Rs 6.5 Cr from Omnivore Partners

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Trucking startup FR8 raises Rs 6.5 Cr from Omnivore Partners

Agritech-focused Omnivore Partners is investing Rs 6.5 crore in Chennai-based FR8, a tech startup which develops solutions for the long-haul trucking segment.

The startup, founded by two former Asian Paints executives, competes with players like BlackBuck, which is backed by Flipkart and Tiger Global.

FR8 launched its product in June 2016 and already has 2,500 trucks from 400 vendors on the marketplace. It currently books around 1,000 orders worth about Rs 2.5 crore a month.

Sidbi issues Rs 10 crore each to Ankur Capital, Omnivore Partners from ASPIRE fund

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Sidbi issues Rs 10 crore each to Ankur Capital, Omnivore Partners from ASPIRE fund

The Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi) on Thursday issued Rs 10 crore each to agriculture and rural development-focused venture funds Ankur Capital and Omnivore Partners from the ASPIRE fund, a fund of funds with a corpus of Rs 60 crore.

The ASPIRE Fund, which is part of an initiative by the Ministry of Micro, Small and medium Enterprises (MSME) under ‘A Scheme for Promotion of Innovation and Rural Entrepreneurship and agro industry (ASPIRE),’ was launched by MSME minister Kalraj Mishra in Mumbai on Thursday.

A Guide to the Investors Funding the Next Agricultural Revolution

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A Guide to the Investors Funding the Next Agricultural Revolution

As the next agricultural revolution unfolds, an increasing number of investors are stepping up to fund it. As recently as six years ago, only three investment funds were dedicated to investing in agriculture technology innovation. Today, there are 13 dedicated to the sector and many more investing as part of a broader portfolio. Here is a deep dive into how the key players emerged, the broader investor base, and what needs to happen from a funding standpoint to continue to grow successful agtech companies.

Entrepreneurs from a wide range of disciplines are innovating at a pace never seen before in the industry. The last time the agriculture industry took strides like this was the green revolution of the 1930s to 1960s, which followed the advent of machinery on the farm in the mid-1880s.

How Does Agtech Fit an Impact Investing Thesis?

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How Does Agtech Fit an Impact Investing Thesis?

Editor’s Note: I recently attended SOCAP, the largest conference for the impact investing community, and was excited to note a growing enthusiasm on the potential for food and agriculture technology to promote positive change in the world. The food and agriculture track has been a feature of the event for many years, attendees told me, but it was hard to ignore that the content during this track had a clear emphasis on technology. Panels ranged from how agtech is impacting the world’s smallholder farmers to innovation in food waste to the rise of alternative proteins. Based on my conversations with impact investors at this event and afterward, it became clear that there’s still a lot up for debate when it comes to evaluating the impact of ag technologies environmentally and socially. In the hope of making a start, I’ve laid out 5 key issues I think will be useful for impact investors to think about if they’re considering making an investment in agtech. Constructive comments below are appreciated.