Agritech focused venture capital firm Omnivore has announced the first close of its third fund at $150 million (about Rs 1,250 crore). The Omnivore Agritech & Climate Sustainability Fund, which was launched in April 2022, will continue to focus on startups developing breakthrough technologies for agriculture, food, climate, and the rural economy.
With its third fund, Omnivore expects to make 25-30 new investments in seed and series A rounds of agri-tech startups and MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises), with initial cheque sizes ranging between $1 million and $5 million. Key themes for new investments include agrifood life sciences, rural fintech, and climate-smart agriculture.
Investors in the first close of the third fund include KfW, the Self Reliant India (SRI) Fund, FMO, SIFEM, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Inclusive Agritech Facility, Louis Dreyfus Company Ventures, the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF), the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), and Yara Growth Ventures.
“The greatest risk and opportunity for Indian agriculture are the adverse effects of climate change. Our new fund will have a sharper focus on catalysing climate action in agriculture by funding startups addressing climate mitigation and climate adaptation,” said Mark Kahn, Managing Partner at Omnivore. The venture capital firm is likely to make the final close of the third fund by December.
Omnivore was founded in 2011 by Kahn and Jinesh Shah to fund Indian startups building the future of agriculture and food systems.
Omnivore pioneered agritech investing in India, and, over the past decade, has backed over 40 startups that are making farming more profitable, resilient, sustainable, and climate-proof. Omnivore raised $82 million for its second fund, which had a final close in April 2019.
“We are grateful to our investors who share Omnivore’s vision of making India an agritech superpower which positively impacts the lives of smallholder farmers globally,” Shah, Managing Partner at Omnivore, noted.
A few of Omnivore’s portfolio companies include DeHaat, Arya, Stellapps, Reshamandi, Ecozen, Aquaconnect, and Pixxel. Over the past year, Omnivore has exited two agritech startups, delivering strong returns to its investors. In July 2022, Omnivore sold its stake in aquaculture IoT start-up Eruvaka to Nutreco, a global leader in animal nutrition and aquaculture, realising the largest exit in Indian agritech to date. Later, in March 2023, Omnivore sold its stake in precision sprayer manufacturer MITRA to farm machinery giant Mahindra.