Agriculture and food-tech focused venture capital firm Omnivore Partners is set to close half of its $90-million fund by next month.
Omnivore expects to close the remaining half of the fund by January. Omnivore plans to invest the fund in upto 20 agritech and rural innovation-specific startups next year. The Godrej group-backed firm started raising its first fund in August 2011.
Founded by Jinesh Shah and Mark Kahn in 2011, Omnivore typically bets on precision agriculture, big data & IoT, sustainable inputs & farm automation, supply chain, food safety & nutrition, innovative food products & services, water management & rural energy and financial technology & inclusion.
Some of its portfolio companies include weather forecaster Skymet Weather Services, automatic seed drills manufacturer Khedut Agro Engineering, IT and services startup Retigence Technologies and others.
“We are seeing a lot of agritech startups focused on using big data, precision agriculture, IoT play to solve Indian agricultural problems, largely using analytics to determine the best way to grow crops, besides improving soil content and other factors,” Jinesh Shah, founding partner at Omnivore Partners, told ET.
The firm aims to invest in seed-funded and series-A stage startups in tech-focused firms working in varied agriculture sub-sectors, besides food and nutrition and other rural innovation-focused ideas. It will fund 18-20 startups during 2018, in exchange it aims to take 30-35% stake in those startups.
In an earlier with DEALSTREETASIA, Jinesh Shah said that Big Data could come in the form of an IoT play or platform play where Omnivore is trying to reduce the inefficiencies in the sector because agriculture has a lot of issues and technology is the way to go about it. SaaS and IoT are going to be a big play. Using drones, UAVs to get data, using mobility and cloud solutions, those are going to be the technology play that is going to be driving agriculture solutions.
Omnivore Partners is backed by diversified agri-business firm Godrej Agrovet, SIDBI and SBI among other financial institutions. It had invested in Stellapps and Ecozen, a micro cold storage facility that works on solar power and can be installed even in small farms.
Omnivore Partners: Website