Venture capital firm Omnivore sees a pick-up in funding momentum in the Indian agritech space with the emergence of newer start-ups focused on the country’s crucial sectors, including agriculture, food, climate, and rural economy. 

Loopworm, DeHaat, Farmley, and Varaha are among the start-ups the firm has backed since it was set up in 2011. 

Mark Kahn, Managing Partner, discusses the company’s roadmap for the future. Edited excerpts from the interview: 


Could you give us an overview of the fund?

Omnivore is a sectoral VC fund focused on backing entrepreneurs building the future of agriculture, food, climate and the rural economy. 

We have been around for 13 years, with our first fund in partnership with Godrej Agrovet. We raised the second independent fund of ₹675 crore in 2018, and deployed it during 2018-22. Since 2023, we have been investing from our third fund of $150 million, which is due for the final close soon.


What is your cheque size and preferred exit route?

Our cheque size for a seed round is $1-3 million, and $2-5 million for Series-A round. We have taken multiple exits from our earliest vehicle, through sale to other companies. There is no preferred exit route; I think, for product companies, strategic exits tend to make sense. But we’ve also done secondaries [where investors can buy and sell shares in private companies] and we’re hoping to see the first IPOs [initial public offering] in the agritech space next year.


Which are your newer investment themes?

Three themes are piquing our interest. We are interested in circular and novel materials, which is: How do you use agricultural waste to create value, and how do you upcycle it?

Second area of interest would definitely be rural fintech. We think the story of credit and insurance in rural India is still in its earliest days, so we are actively working in that space. 

Finally, the space of climate-smart deeptech, where you have deep applications related to climate, is where we are going to be more active this year. 


How do you see the funding momentum changing in 2024?

If I look at the series A and series B investments that are closing in our portfolio, we hit the bottom in the second or third quarter of FY24, and things are getting better. I think, calendar year 2024 will be an up-year over calendar year 2023, for sure. Our fund this year plans to make approximately five new deals.