Early stage agri-tech focused investment fund Omnivore Capital has invested an undisclosed amount to pick a significant minority stake in Nashik-based two-year old startup MITRA, as per the company’s website. The investment was made two months ago, it added.
The development was first reported by The Economic Times. The firm will use the money to expand its research and enhance marketing spend, the report added.
Founded by Devneet Bajaj, a former private equity executive and investment banker, in April 2012, MITRA is developing a farm mechanisation solution for horticulturists. It essentially makes far equipment with MITRA being an acronym for machines, information, technology, resources for agriculture.
Bajaj, who has a management degree from French business school INSEAD, earlier worked with US-based buyout firm Paine & Partners.
MITRA initially started rental service business using electrostatic sprayers in mid-2012. In October that year it raised its first round of external funding from Unilazer Ventures, the private investment arm of media veteran Ronnie Screwvala, besides other angel investors.
A year ago it struck a partnership with Italian firm Caffini for low volume spraying technology.
Its first product GrapeMaster, launched a few weeks ago, is a specially designed sprayer for Indian vineyards. Early this month it also launched Pomaster, a customised product for Indian pomegranate growers.
MITRA is Omnivore Partners’ first new deal this year. Last year, it had backed three firms from its Omnivore Capital Ag-Tech Fund including maker of diagnostic equipment for aquaculture farmers Eruvaka Technologies besides Barrix Agro Sciences and Arohan Foods.
Omnivore Partners is a venture fund investing in early-stage agriculture & food technology companies in India. Currently it manages a $50 million fund. The Godrej Group is the strategic investor in the fund.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)