State Bank of India- and UK’s Department for International Development-backed private equity firm Neev Fund has invested an undisclosed amount in Leap India Food and Logistics Pvt. Ltd, which is promoted by the family of former Formula One racer Narain Karthikeyan.
The investment will be used to develop modern silos and other agriculture-related businesses across states with low levels of capital investment. Silos are structures for storing foodgrain.
Incorporated in 2016, Leap India Food is promoted by Nikhila and Rajeev Karthikeyan and Anurag Malempati, while Narain Karthikeyan is the chairman. The company aims to build modern food storage and logistics platforms for the government and commercial organisations.
In a joint statement, the founders said that Neev’s investment will help the company scale its silos business, besides building other agri-related logistics platforms across the country.
Neev Fund CEO Manav Bansal said Leap India Food is on the verge of creating a large company in the silos and agri-logistics space. It is building silos across Punjab, Delhi and Assam, and aims to create an asset base of over $500 million in the next five years.
Brothers Rajeev and Narain Karthikeyan are also co-founders of renewable energy firm Leap Green Energy Pvt. Ltd, which is majority-owned by JPMorgan Asset Management. It has installed wind power capacity of 759.15 MW, according to the company website.
The infrastructure-focussed private equity fund aims to bring in sustainable development. Its mandate is to invest in the eight low-income or developing states in India – Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
Neev Fund, which was launched in 2015, is focused on investing in infrastructure sectors such as renewable energy, road, agricultural supply chain, including warehouses and cold storages, urban infrastructure like water and sanitation as well as waste management, besides healthcare and education.
In February, it had made an undisclosed investment in solar power solutions provider SunSource Energy.
In March 2017, the fund had struck a deal in integrated cold chain logistics service provider Crystal Logistic Cool Chain Ltd, besides backing Milk Mantra Dairy and United Sustainable Energy.