Pioneering Ventures launches $70 M ‘Rural India Impact’ fund for agriculture and food sector
Its portfolio companies in the Indian Agri and food space are - Desai Fruits & Vegetables, Citrus Processing India, MilkLane, FarmLink, and Samaaru.Sujata Sangwan
Pioneering Ventures (PV), a Zurich and Mumbai-based accelerator and investor dedicated to Indian agriculture and food sector, has announced the launch of a ‘Rural India Impact’ Fund of $70 million. The purpose of the Private Equity fund is to make growth capital available exclusively to companies it has backed so far.
The fund, a growth capital vehicle to be raised through family offices and other institutional investors (mainly Europe), has invested over Rs 1000 crore in India along with its co-investors. Its portfolio companies in the Agri and food space are - Desai Fruits & Vegetables (branded banana producer, Citrus Processing India (frozen juice processor), MilkLane (integrated healthy dairy company), FarmLink (Industrial scale platform for value-added fresh produce), and Samaaru (financial services provider to under-served communities in India).
Commenting on the launch, Martin Wittwer, Executive Partner, Operations at Pioneering Ventures, said,
“The fund has been set with a vision to back and rapidly grow our existing business, thereby investing in their activities over the next two years. We currently operate five portfolio companies in the agri space with an intent to create sustainable and verifiable social impact among the farming and rural community”.
Pioneering Ventures said in an official statement that it aims to build a comprehensive agri & food platform that controls end-to-end value chain. The firm works closely with more than 7000 farmers and facilitates them access to markets in India and abroad.
Seeing a massive opportunity in India’s agriculture sector, Martin added,
“Growth prospects offered by India’s agri and food sector are phenomenal and is all set for a big revolution. Many of the agri-food products grow in double digits, at a much higher rate than equivalent markets in Europe or North America. The fund provides international investors with regulated and compliant access to these markets.”
Recently, MTR Foods, a Bengaluru-based packaged food player also set up Rs 50 crore seed fund to invest in startups that are engaged in food processing. In May, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) had announced a Rs 700-crore venture capital fund for equity investments in agriculture and rural-focused startups.