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Omnivore backs former Aavishkaar exec’s agri-tech startup Clover
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Clover Ventures Pvt. Ltd, an agri-tech startup set up by a former executive at impact investment firm Aavishkaar Venture Management Services Ltd, on Thursday said it has raised $5.5 million (Rs 39.14 crore) from venture capital firm Omnivore.

Existing investors Accel and Mayfield India also participated in the funding round, Clover said in a statement.

Avinash BR, co-founder at Clover, said the fresh funds will help the company accelerate the growth of its managed farm network, enter new cities, and diversify its business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-business (B2C) offerings.

The Bengaluru-based startup had raised funding from Accel and  Mayfield India, VCCircle reported last year.

Clover, which was launched in December 2017 by Avinash, says it is a greenhouse agri-tech platform. The startup partners with farmers across India and markets premium quality, branded, greenhouse-grown fresh produce through B2B and B2C channels.

Avinash, who holds an MBA degree from Germany’s Mannheim Business School, was an investment manager for impact investment firm Aavishkaar from 2013 to 2017. He later worked with TribeTech Pvt. Ltd, a technology startup spun off from Aavishkaar Intellecap Group, before launching Clover.

Clover is among the several startups in the sector to receive interest from strategic players and investors, especially social-impact backers. Players in the segment seek to address gaps in India’s existing agricultural processes and provide fair economic incentives to farmers and other members of the ecosystem.

Earlier this month, VCCircle reported Green Agrevolution Pvt. Ltd, which operates agricultural-technology startup DeHaat, is set to raise capital from a new overseas investor.

Last month, agriculture enterprise resource planning platform FarmERP raised Series A funding from software company TechnoGen IT Services India Pvt. Ltd.

In December last year, Sathguru Catalyst Advisors, the asset management arm of Innovation in Food and Agriculture Fund, said it would invest up to $6 million in Nu Genes Pvt. Ltd, a seed company focused on nutrition crops.

The most-funded startup in the segment is Ninjacart, which counts Tiger Global and Walmart Inc among its backers.

Omnivore

Omnivore was founded by Mark Kahn and Jinesh Shah in 2010. The venture capital firm backs Indian startups developing and using technology in the food, agriculture and rural sectors.

In April last year, the venture capital firm marked the final close of its second fund at $97 million (Rs 679 crore), overshooting the initial target of $75 million.

Its investments from the new fund include agri-tech firm Fasal and aquaculture platform Aquaconnect.

Omnivore's first fund had raised $40 million. The first fund has 12 active portfolio companies. These include processed food firm Arohan Foods, on-farm diagnostic equipment maker Eruvaka Technologies and IT services startup Retigence Technologies. Others include Ecozen Solutions, which focuses on applications of distributed power generation for agriculture and rural communities; Y-Cook, which provides quick-serve foods; and MITRA Agri, a farm equipment maker.

Omnivore has partially exited weather forecaster Skymet and dairy Internet of Things company Stellapps.

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