The green space continues to grow greener.
Indian-based ag venture capital firm, Omnivore Partners, has backed MITRA, an Indian agtech startup that specializes in machinery for fruit cultivation, and develops automated solutions for spraying, pruning, weeding and harvesting. While no further financial details were given, Omnivore has taken a significant minority share, according to a release in the Economic Times.
“We want to help mechanise fruit cultivation in India,” said Devneet Bajaj, MITRA’s founder and CEO. Bajaj, 33, is a former private equity executive and investment banker, previously working with Paine & Partners, Citi Bank, and BoA/Merrill Lynch. “Fruit is becoming a principal part of diet and farmers want to adapt to technology,” he said.
Both a word that means “friend” in Hindi and the company’s acronym, “MITRA” stands for Machines, Information, Technology, Resources and Agriculture. The company was founded just two years ago, receiving seed funding from angel investors and Ronnie Screwvala-led venture firm Unilazer Ventures. MITRA says its first recently launched product, the GrapeMaster, has already been put to customer use, and that there is a strong pipeline of products to come. The backing from Omnivore is intended to accelerate research and marketing.
“Devneet has put together a strong core team with vast experience in R&D, manufacturing, agronomy, sales and business development,” said Jinesh Shah, founding partner at Omnivore, which was founded with partner Mark Kahn in 2010. MITRA is the eighth company Omnivore adds to its portfolio, which already includes SkyMet, FrontalRain, Eruvaka, Barrix, Arohan Foods, Khedut, and Stellapps.
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FEATURED PHOTO: Hahn Family Wines/Flickr