Omnivore Capital achieves first close of $46 million for its second food and agri fund
Mumbai: Omnivore Capital Management Advisors Pvt., an impact venture fund that invests in food and agri-tech start-ups, has made a first close of $46 million of its Omnivore Partners India Fund 2, a senior executive of the fund said.
Omnivore is targeting a total of $75 million for its second fund and plans to complete the fundraising by August.
Founded in 2010 by Jinesh Shah and Mark Kahn, Omnivore invests in Indian start-ups developing technologies for food, agriculture, and the rural economy.
While Kahn has a background in agri-business, having worked in senior management positions for Godrej Agrovet, the agri-business arm of Godrej group, Shah has worked with IT companies and venture capital fund Nexus Venture Partners.
“Omnivore believes the key to transforming rural India lies in increasing the profitability of smallholder agriculture, improving the sustainability of smallholder farming, and reducing the uncertainty borne by smallholder farmers. Our second fund will exclusively focus on Indian start-ups that are developing solutions to these challenges,” said Kahn.
The fund is in advanced talks to make at least two investments before the end of the current financial year.
“This (calender) year we will make five to six investments. We will close two transactions by the end of this financial year,” he said.
For its second fund, Omnivore has raised capital from a bunch of foreign institutional impact investors, in addition to domestic investors, unlike its first fund which was purely raised from domestic investors. The investors in the second fund include KfW, a German government owned development bank, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), Netherlands enterprise agency’s Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF), New York-based The Rockefeller Foundation, UK-based investment firm Ceniarth, RBL Bank, and the Sorenson Impact Foundation.
“Many of our impact investors are focussed on development. Agriculture, food and financial inclusion are the key themes for our limited partners. Everyone is focusing on 20-25% of urban population whereas Mark and I are focusing on 70-75% of the population which is not covered by other investors. There are enough LPs to cater to both the segments. Our LPs are very aligned with the impact mission,” said Shah, co-founder of Omnivore.
Omnivore started raising its first fund in August 2011. It took two years to raise Rs260 crore. The fund was anchored by the Godrej group.
The firm has invested in firms such as Skymet Weather Services, a weather forecaster; Barrix Agro Sciences, a pest management solutions provider; and Eruvaka Technologies, a provider of monitoring and automation technologies for aquaculture farms.
“We have partially exited from Skymet and Bangalore-based IoT company, Stellapps. We are looking for more exits in the following years,” Kahn added.