IFA Fund manager to invest $6 mn in seed company Nu Genes

Sathguru Catalyser Advisors, the asset management company of Innovation in Food and Agriculture (IFA) Fund, has said that it will invest up to $6 million (Rs 43 crore at current exchange rate) in Nu Genes Pvt. Ltd, a seed company focused on nutrition crops.

In a statement, Hyderabad-based Sathguru said the investment will help Nu Genes in its expansion to international markets. Sathguru chairman Krishna Kumar said the focus of its investment in the firm was to address the needs of farmers in adapting to climate change. “Nu Genes products have potential to secure footprint in several needy countries,” he said.

“We have chosen the investment from IFA Fund due to deep insights our investors bring in propelling our growth,” Nu Genes founder and chief executive PN Reddy said, adding that the company focused on tropical agriculture.

Secunderabad-based Nu Genes, founded in 2004, was formerly known as Nitya Seed Sciences Pvt. Ltd, according to its website.

This is the second reported investment that Sathguru has made this month. Earlier in December, it took part in a $6 million (around Rs 42.4 crore) Series A funding round in Ecozen Solutions Pvt. Ltd, an agriculture-technology startup.

Deals in agri-tech

The agriculture-technology segment has seen growing interest from strategic players and investors, especially social-impact investors. Players in the space seek to address gaps in India’s existing agricultural processes, as well as provide fair economic incentives to farmers and other members of the ecosystem.

Earlier this week, the US retail giant Walmart Inc. and its Indian e-commerce arm Flipkart jointly invested in Ninjacart, a business-to-business (B2B) marketplace for agricultural produce.

In November, logistics and supply-chain-focused Kamatan raised Rs 30 crore (around $4.18 million) in funding from Chennai-based Samunnati Agro Solutions, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of non-banking financial company Samunnati Financial Intermediation & Services Pvt. Ltd.

Earlier that month, B2B agricultural-commerce platform SuperZop raised Rs 8 crore in pre-Series A funding from investors including SIDBI Venture Capital Ltd’s MS Fund. Other investors in the round included CIIE Initiatives, the technology incubator of the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, and angel investor Gurumurthy Raman.

Economic Times