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Impact firm Omnivore leads funding round in agri-analytics startup AgNext

16 April, 2018

Chandigarh-based agri-analytics startup AgNext said it has raised an undisclosed amount of funds in a round led by social impact firm Omnivore.

This is the second investment from the venture capital firm’s second fund, Omnivore Partners India Fund II. Samir Kumar, a high net worth individual from Singapore, also participated in this round.

As part of this funding, Subhadeep Sanyal, principal at Omnivore, will join AgNext’s board.

AgNext, focused on horticulture and plantation crops, collects spatial, temporal and spectral data to provide solutions across the agriculture and food value chain. Its digital platform aims to improve the productivity and profitability of growers and food processors.

AgNext Technologies Pvt. Ltd (legal name of AgNext) was founded by Taranjeet Singh Bhamra, Mrigank Sharad and Deepak Jaiswal in 2016. All three co-founders are graduates from IIT-Kharagpur in agricultural and food engineering. Previously, Bhamra was with ITC Foods, Alshaya and KPMG. Sharad is currently associated with IIT-Kharagpur as an assistant professor. Jaiswal did a PhD in agricultural and biological engineering from Penn State University, US, and conducted research in crop growth modelling at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, US, and the State University of Campinas, Brazil.

The agri-analytics startup, which was incubated at IIT-Kharagpur, received seed funds and acceleration from a-IDEA, managed by National Academy of Agricultural Research Management in Hyderabad. It has also received multiple innovation awards, including best product (TiEcon), best innovation (Confederation of Indian Industry), and the Karnataka Grand Challenge.

Omnivore
Founded in 2010 by Mark Kahn and Jinesh Shah, Omnivore (earlier Omnivore Partners) invests in startups operating in agri-tech, food products and rural sector, going by its website. It has offices in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

In February 2018, Omnivore invested in online milk delivery startup Doodhwala.

In the same month, Omnivore Capital Management Advisors Pvt. Ltd marked the first close of its second venture capital fund— Omnivore Partners India Fund II—at $46 million (Rs 296 crore). It is targeting a final close of the second fund at $75 million by August this year.

In December last year, it partially exited its stake in Noida-based forecaster Skymet Weather Services Pvt. Ltd.

Deals in agri-tech
In March 2018, AgShift Inc., a California-based startup building an autonomous food inspection system using deep learning, raised $2 million (Rs 13 crore) in seed funds.

Last month, agri-tech startups Sabziwala and LivLush, both backed by social impact venture capital firm Elevar Equity, merged their businesses under a new entity called Kamatan.

In March, Indore-based agri-tech startup Gramophone.in raised Rs 6.4 crore (about $1 million) from Info Edge (India) Ltd.

Around the same time, Bengaluru-based agri-marketing platform Ninjacart raised about $1.1 million (Rs 7 crore) from venture debt firm Trifecta Capital.

In February 2018, Agricxlab, an agri-tech venture that uses smartphone imaging to assess the quality of agri-produce, raised funds worth $500,000 (Rs 3.2 crore) in a seed round led by early-stage venture capital firm Ankur Capital.

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Impact firm Omnivore leads funding round in agri-analytics startup AgNext

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