Early-to-growth stage VC firm IvyCap Ventures has bought an undisclosed stake in Thomson Reuters’s subsidiary Reuters Market Light Ltd (RML), which provides a mobile-based agri information service to Indian farmers. The transaction details are not known.
Post the investment, IvyCap will become the lead investor in RML, while Thomson Reuters will remain a shareholder in the new entity, christened RML Information Services Pvt Ltd. RML founder and MD Amit Mehra will continue to be the CEO of the new entity.
Incubated by Thomson Reuters, Mumbai-based RML provides farmers with personalised timely and actionable agricultural information from pre-sowing to post-harvest stages through SMS on their mobile phones in their local language. The company was founded in 2007 and claims that it has more than one million unique subscribers in over 50,000 villages across India. RML is sold as an easy-to-use card (RML Direct) in thousands of retail outlets in rural India. RML claims it covers over 300 crops and varieties and 1,300 markets across these states.
Started by former Ajay Piramal Group executive Vikram Gupta, IvyCap is looking to invest in companies operating in healthcare, energy, food/agriculture-based businesses and technology, with special emphasis on the micro, medium and small enterprises.
The company, which recently received government approval to invest $36 million in Indian startups, puts in anywhere between Rs 2 crore to Rs 40 crore. It made its first close of $19 million last July. At that time, Gupta had told VCCircle that it was set to invest $4.5 million each in two Indian companies.
(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)