MUMBAI: Switzerland-based agri-food investment firm, Pioneering Ventures, has acquired Lateral Praxis, an Indian agri-tech company, a senior executive told Mint in an interaction. The value of the transaction, however, was not disclosed.
The acquisition will help improve the firm's downstream reach of tech-enabled solutions for food supply chain including information access, apps, data analytics and risk mitigation, said Pablo Erat, co-founder of Pioneering Ventures.
“Our initial focus was to integrate supply chains end-to-end to facilitate data-driven transformation from farm to fork. To create a positive change by reshaping the ecosystem, we need to reimagine the way food is produced and supplied, while empowering and connecting all system partners in a highly inclusive way. The acquisition of Lateral Praxis is an important milestone in the execution of our technology and data-centric strategy," he said.
Pioneering Ventures is a food, finance and technology platform company that has been investing in the Indian food ecosystem to provide people healthy food in a sustainable manner. Through its portfolio firms in India, Pioneer produces 450 tonnes of food daily that reaches over 1.5 million consumers.
Founded in 1999 by Suniti Gupta, Lateral Praxis works closely with central and state governments, private firms and farmer communities at village/panchayat level to build, configure and implement innovative knowledge-based systems for legal compliance, audit tracking and risk management.
The Mumbai-based agri-tech platform provides solutions such as online payment platforms, information aggregation and data mining to its clients including Tata Projects Ltd, Deepak Fertilisers & Petrochemicals Ltd, Aurobindo Pharma Ltd, and so on.
“As Indian agriculture and food sector gets ready to embrace next generation, tech-enabled future, the time is ripe for positive disruption. Our experience and core competencies will be augmented well by Pioneering Ventures’ expertise and presence across the food supply chain, helping us jointly scale up our solutions and delivery," said Gupta.
So far, Pioneering Ventures has invested in five tech-enabled agri-focused firms and two pilot ventures in India. Its portfolio includes firms such as FarmLink, which digitises supply chain for vegetables and commodities; Citrus Processing India, one of India‘s largest citrus concentrate producer; MilkLane, which produces dairy products as per Swiss standards; Desai Fruits & Vegetables that sells branded fruits; Samaaru, a farmer-centric agri-finance and value chain services platform and DistriCo, an integrated last-mile distribution platform.
“Across our businesses, we have achieved sales of $65 million in FY19-20, with a four-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 117%," said Erat.
“We have been working successfully with Lateral Praxis for many years and I am confident that the team will further boost our technology and data expertise. Our partnership will help us accelerate the development of our fully integrated food technology platform," he added.