Mahindra bets on Swiss agri-tech startup Gamaya to boost farm business
Photo Credit: Reuters

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd has agreed to invest 4.3 million Swiss francs ($4.3 million or Rs 30 crore) in Switzerland-based agricultural-technology company Gamaya SA.

India’s biggest tractor maker said in a stock-exchange filing on Friday that Gamaya will support the company’s farm equipment business by development technology solutions.

Mahindra said it is taking an 11.25% share in Gamaya by subscribing to 300 common shares and 30,469 Series B preferred shares.

The Indian company, in fact, led Gamaya’s Series B funding round in which the startup raised a total of 7.5 million Swiss francs. Dutch venture capital and growth-equity investor ICOS Capital and some other investors also participated in the round, Mahindra said.

“With agriculture increasingly becoming technology-intensive, we at Mahindra are investing in future-ready technologies to provide complete solutions to the global farming community,” said Rajesh Jejurikar, president of the farm equipment sector at Mahindra.

“Our strategic association with Gamaya will enable us to develop and deploy next-generation farming capabilities such as precision agriculture and digital farming technologies,” he said.

Incorporated in 2015, Gamaya provides crop-specific technology solutions. It has advanced capabilities in hyperspectral imagery analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning which captures and interprets imagery to give farmers information about the state of their fields and crops. The company operates mainly in Brazil, Switzerland, India and Ukraine.

Mahindra, a diversified conglomerate with interest in sectors from farm equipment and automobile to defence production and software services, has invested in several startups as well as mature companies in recent years to strengthen its technological capabilities and gain exposure to newer areas.

In the farm sector, Mahindra last year agreed to buy https://www.vccircle.com/mahindra-to-buy-26-stake-in-omnivore-backed-farm-equipment-maker/ a 26% stake in MITRA Agro Equipments Pvt. Ltd for up to Rs 8 crore to expand its portfolio of agricultural equipment. In January 2017, Mahindra had agreed to acquire a 75.1% stake in Turkish farm machinery maker Hisarlar Makina Sanayi Ve Ticaret AS.

In February 2018, the billionaire Anand Mahindra-led company had picked up a 16% stake in Zoomcar as part of the self-drive car rental startup’s $40-million Series C round.

Other Mahindra Group companies, too, have invested in startups. Mahindra Logistics Ltd last year invested https://www.vccircle.com/mahindra-logistics-picks-up-stake-in-transport-management-startup-shipx/ about $1 million in freight management solution startup ShipX while non-banking financial company Mahindra Finance backed peer-to-peer lending startup RupeeCircle.

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