Impact venture capital firm Omnivore announced the first close of its third fund at US$150 million. The Omnivore Agritech & Climate Sustainability Fund, which was launched in April 2022, will continue focusing on startups developing breakthrough technologies for agriculture, food, climate, and the rural economy. First close investors include KfW, Self Reliant India (SRI) Fund, FMO, SIFEM, International Finance Corporation (IFC) with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Inclusive Agritech Facility, Louis Dreyfus Company Ventures, the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF), the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), and Yara Growth Ventures.
Omnivore was founded in 2011 by Mark Kahn and Jinesh Shah to fund Indian startups building the future of agriculture and food systems. Omnivore pioneered agritech investing in India, and over the past decade has backed over 40 startups which are making farming more profitable, resilient, sustainable, and climate-proof. Omnivore raised US$ 82 million for its second fund, which had a final close in April 2019. Some of Omnivore’s portfolio companies include DeHaat, Arya, Stellapps, Reshamandi, Ecozen, Aquaconnect, and Pixxel.
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Over the past year, the venture capital firm has exited two agritech startups, delivering strong returns to its investors. In July 2022, Omnivore sold its stake in aquaculture IoT startup 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.
With their third fund, Omnivore expects to make 25-30 new investments in Seed and Series A rounds of agritech startups and MSMEs, with initial cheque sizes ranging between US$1 million and US$5 million. Key themes for new investments include agrifood life sciences, rural fintech, and climate-smart agriculture.
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Highlighting the focus on catalysing climate action in agriculture by funding startups, Mark Kahn, Managing Partner at Omnivore said, “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.”
Jinesh Shah, Managing Partner at Omnivore, said, “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.”
In picture: Omnivore managing partners, Mark Kahn (left) and Jinesh Shah (right)