Omnivore, the country’s leading VC fund aligned with the fast growing agri-tech business in the country, is expecting to see a major jump in its investment portfolio in the current year.
Speaking with Indoasiancommodities, Jinesh Shah, Managing Partner of the fund, said that the growth of the established agri-tech firms got momentum last year due to the pandemic and the business environment is poised for more financing deals unfolding this year.
“Last year, even amidst Coronavirus, we conducted about half a dozen noted deals. And we expect the momentum to continue in 2021 with a similar number of deals wherein we may cumulatively provide funding support in the range of US $25-30 million. This will involve both existing entities in our portfolio as well as new firms,” Shah said.
Onmivore, which is believed to have the widest portfolio from the VC side in terms of providing investment support to agri-tech firms, has supported more than two dozen entities in its over one decade journey. This includes some of the most promising names in the agri-tech space today like Arya, Bijak, DeHaat, Stellapps, and Skymet.
The year 2020 was a defining one for Omnivore as it was involved in some major deals closing up to US $18 million. This included investments in TartanSense, DeHaat (follow-on round), Intello Labs (follow-on round), Bijak (follow-on round), Clover Ventures (now rebranded as Deep Rooted), Arya, Krishitantra, and Agri10x.
Spearheaded by Mark Kahn, former Executive VP (Strategy & Business Development) at Godrej Agrovet and Jinesh Shah, former CFO at India’s leading venture capital fund Nexus Venture Partners, had co-founded Omnivore around 2010 end. Being an early starter, the VC fund is now looking at big-ticket growth with its comprehensive portfolio and increasing adoption of technological intervention in the agricultural practices.
“Our growth was quite slow during the initial years. Not many were familiar with the term agri-tech. Even raising an initial corpus or finding co-investors in different deals was a challenge for a long time. But the scene has dramatically changed now. The kind of digitization and technological intervention which has happened in agriculture businesses in the past one year is unprecedented indicating a very promising future in the next 5-10 years,” Shah commented.