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2014-12-11

Unitus Seed Fund to invest Rs 4-5 crore in agricultural startups by 2015

Unitus Seed Fund typically invests between Rs 15 lakh to Rs 1 core in agricultural startups.

By Aparajita Choudhury

Unitus Seed fund, a $20 million seed-stage investment fund based in Bangalore and Seattle has said that it will invest Rs 4-5 crore in agricultural startups by 2015 in India.

Unitus Seed fund helps startups “prepare for growth” via seed funding, strategic and operating support, providing critical connections, and securing growth capital.

“We are very interested in agricultural startups. So far, we have invested in one agricultural startup Villfarm. We are open to invest Rs 4-5 crore in agricultural startups in India by 2015,” Srikrishna Ramamoorthy, Partner, Unitus Seed fund told Entrepreneur India.

VillFarm is building an innovative last mile rural distribution business starting in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The team has created a low-cost, two-tier distribution system with feeder warehouses connected to village-based independent sales agents (called Village Level Entrepreneurs or VLEs) who also provide advisory services to farmers about how best to increase their crop yields.

Srikrishna brings both entrepreneurial and investing perspectives with extensive experience in impact investing, consulting and implementation. Previously, he was co-founder at Kinara Capital, a pioneering startup in the small business lending sector in India, where he led client sourcing and product development.

Commenting on the overall investors’ perspective about agricultural startups, Ramamoorthy said, “There is not so much interest among investors when it comes to investing in early stage companies. But when the company becomes and started to scale the businesses, many PEs and VCs come and invest in these companies.”

When asked about the amount of investment in Villfarm, Ramamoorthy denied disclosing the numbers, but he said, “We typically invest between Rs 15 lakh to Rs 1 core in agricultural startups.”
 

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