Impact investment firm Caspian Equity on Tuesday said it is planning to mark the final close of its food and agriculture-focused fund in a few months.
“The fund is expecting to hit the final close at Rs 52 crore (around $6.3 million) in a few months,” said Saurabh Johri, executive director and chief executive officer at Caspian Equity.
VCCircle had first reported the launch of the fund, called the Leap for Agriculture Fund (LEAF).
The LEAF fund marked its first close in July last year after raising about 40% of its total targeted fund value, valued about Rs 20 crore.
The fund aims to invest in pre-series A startups with ticket sizes ranging from Rs 1-5 crore, investing in about 12 startups. According to the person quoted, the deployment will take place over a period of two years.
According to the earlier report by VCCircle, the early-stage fund will focus on agri-tech startups and will have an eight-year tenure, which will be managed by Caspian Advisor's Equity Team.
“Caspian LEAF will focus on high impact, close to farmer solutions that benefit small and marginal farmers. Some of the spaces we are looking at are, efficiency in input use, reduction in drudgery, labour saving farm machinery, close to farm processing and traceability solutions,” said Emmanuel Murray, investment director at Caspian Equity and fund manager of Caspian LEAF Fund.
As per a statement, it has received commitments from limited partners including IndusInd Bank, ITC Ltd’s group head Sivakumar Surampudi, Kishore Moorjani, former MD at Blackstone Group, columnist and author Swaminathan Aiyar, among others.
The Hyderabad-based impact investor does both equity and debt financing. It offers custom debt through Caspian Debt, its non-banking financial company (NBFC). Typically, it lends to first-generation social entrepreneurs to help them with their working capital requirements.
The impact investor first launched the Bellwether Micro Finance Fund in 2004 with a corpus of $20 million. Thereafter, it raised a $90-million fund, India Financial Inclusion Fund (IFIF), in 2008 to focus on financial inclusion, which included affordable housing and microfinance.
Caspian also launched its two other funds - Caspian SME Impact Fund IV in 2016 to raise $22.5 million so far and Rabo-Caspian Agtech Financing Fund in 2019 that raised $2.12 million.
“The fourth fund on Small Medium Enterprise is doing well despite the Covid headwinds for more than two years and we hope to consistently repeat the strong performance with LEAF in Agri/Agri-tech space,” Johri said.