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January 2018

M&M buys 26% stake in Omnivore-backed MITRA

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M&M buys 26% stake in Omnivore-backed MITRA

Mumbai: Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), part of the $19-billion Mahindra Group, on Tuesday announced its foray into the sprayers business under the aegis of its farm equipment sector through the acquisition of a 26 per cent equity stake in MITRA Agro Equipments, a Maharashtra-based AgTech company (MITRA).

Under the transaction, which is expected to close by February 2018, Mahindra will acquire 26 per cent equity stake in MITRA through a fresh infusion of capital into the company.

The association with Mahindra will help in accelerating the growth of MITRA, which designs and manufactures proprietary sprayers for horticulture crops.

Devneet Bajaj founded MITRA in 2012. Omnivore, an impact venture fund focused on food and agriculture, has been investing in MITRA since 2014. MITRA’s existing shareholders will continue in the company after Mahindra’s investment.

Seed investors who see rich harvest from agri-tech start-ups

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Seed investors who see rich harvest from agri-tech start-ups

“We both believed that agriculture entrepreneurship is going to become a huge sector and that it desperately needed capital, because traditional venture capital funds ignored it,” says Mark Kahn, Founding Partner, Omnivore Partners, a venture capital firm that invests in ventures that come up with breakthrough technologies for food, agriculture and rural economy sectors. “We saw this as an opportunity and decided to raise a fund,” he explains, as to why Omnivore Partners came into being.

Jinesh Shah, Founding Partner, adds that they believed agriculture was going through interesting times, thanks to a growing population with changed dietary habits – from a grain-based one to a protein-based diet. They also believed that this shift will last for a couple of generations and decided to focus on agriculture and food sectors.