Omnivore raises $150 mn in first close of third fund

Agritech venture capital focused Omnivore has announced the first close of its third fund at $150 million (roughly Rs. 1,250 crores). The Omnivore Agritech and Climate Sustainability Fund, launched in April 2022, will continue to focus on startups developing cutting-edge technologies for agriculture, food, climate and the rural economy.

With its third fund, Omnivore expects to make 25-30 new seed rounds and first batch investments in agritech, MSME (small, medium, and microenterprises) startups, with initial check sizes between $1 million and $5 million. Key themes for new investments include nutritional life sciences, rural financial technology, and climate-smart agriculture.

Investors in the first close of the third fund include KfW, Self Reliance India (SRI) Fund, FMO, SIFEM, International Finance Corporation (IFC) backed by Bill & Melinda Gates Inclusive Agritech Facility, Louis Dreyfus Company Ventures, Dutch Fund For Good Growth (DGGF), the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), and Yara Growth Ventures.

The biggest risks and opportunities for Indian agriculture are the adverse effects of climate change. “Our new fund will have a greater focus on catalysing climate action in agriculture by financing startups that address climate change mitigation and adaptation,” said Mark Kahn, Managing Partner at Omnivore. The venture capital firm is likely to finalize the third fund by December.

Omnivore was founded in 2011 by Kahn and Jinesh Shah to fund Indian start-ups building the future of agriculture and food systems.

Omnivore has pioneered investment in agricultural technology in India and, over the past decade, has backed more than 40 startups that are making agriculture more profitable, resilient, sustainable and climate-resilient. Omnivore raised $82 million for its second fund, which closed permanently in April 2019.

“We are grateful to our investors who share Omnivore’s vision of making India an agritech superpower positively impacting the lives of smallholder farmers globally,” noted Shah, Managing Partner of Omnivore.

A few of Omnivore’s portfolio companies include DeHaat, Arya, Stellapps, Reshamandi, Ecozen, Aquaconnect, and Pixxel. Over the past year, Omnivore has exited two agritech startups, delivering solid returns to its investors. In July of 2022, Omnivore sold its stake in IoT aquaculture startup Eruvaka to Nutreco, a global leader in animal nutrition and aquaculture, making the largest exit in Indian agritech to date. Subsequently, in March 2023, Omnivore sold its stake in precision sprayer maker MITRA to agricultural machinery giant Mahindra.