MITRA, an Indian manufacturer of fruit spraying equipment, has today been fully acquired by major automotive manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra. Sources close to the deal say MITRA was valued at around $20 million.
- Mahindra & Mahindra was already a shareholder with 47.33% stake in MITRA before purchasing all remaining shares, including Omnivore’s stake today.
- The transaction marks an exit for Omnivore, India’s leading agrifoodtech venture capital firm.
- The move also comes after Mahindra set up a new farm machinery plant in India, which will roll out new products designed at Mahindra’s global technology ‘Centers of Excellence’ in Finland, Japan, and Turkey.
- So far, the company raised $5.3 million over 5 funding rounds, as per Crunchbase.
Why it matters
Worth only around $20 million, Mahindra’s acquisition of MITRA is not going to set the agrifoodtech world alight but the participation and interest of a major operator in the space is still a positive signal. For Omnivore, it’s also the second exit in six months after it sold its stake in Eruvaka in August last year.
Omnivore was one of MITRA’s first institutional backers in 2014, with its capital injection meant to drive MITRA’s research and marketing.
MITRA claims to have more than tripled its revenue between 2018 and 2022 after launching its first product, the GrapeMaster, in 2014.
Its portfolio now boasts a wide array of six customizable sprayers which can be used in the cultivation of grapes, pomegranates, oranges, custard apples, guava, lychee, mangoes, coconuts and dates.
What they’re saying
“Ten years ago, Dev traded the American dream for a future building the Indian startup ecosystem, starting with M.I.T.R.A. Through Mahindra’s expansive dealer network, M.I.T.R.A’s cutting-edge technology will now be accessible to horticulture farmers across India. As the first institutional investor in the startup, this is a very proud moment for Omnivore and for agritech in India,” says Mark Kahn, Managing Partner, Omnivore.
Hemant Sikka, President of the Farm Equipment Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. also says, “Mahindra aims to grow its farm machinery business by 10x in 5 years and is making rapid progress towards achieving this goal. The additional share purchase in M.I.T.R.A would aid Mahindra’s growth and expansion into the growing horticulture market.”
Rise of the machines: What will drive adoption of robotics and automation in specialty crops?