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Ex-Yes Bank group aims to fill India’s agri funding gap

Business incubator Rural Agri Ventures will address the demand/supply gap across dairy, logistics, infrastructure, animal feed and water management among other sub-sectors.

A group of ex-Yes Bank employees, including the daughter of founder Rana Kapoor, has launched an Indian business incubation firm that aims to fill a huge funding gap in India’s agriculture and rural sectors.

The launch comes amid a call for private investment into India’s struggling agriculture sector; last month participants on an Asia Venture Philanthropy Network webinar bemoaned the lack of venture capital investment into the country’s key sectors such as agri.

Launched eight months ago, Rural Agri Ventures wants to address a demand and supply gap across various sectors in rural India and will focus its attention on dairy, renewable energy, agri logistics, rural and agri infrastructure, animal feed, water management,  farm productivity and skill development.

The company also aims to have a high degree of social impact, according to Girish Aivalli, chief executive.

At this stage the partners of the firm are committing their own capital and using debt to finance their projects, but the company does plan to attract third party capital at a later stage. The firm has yet to launch a project, according to Aivalli.

The company was founded by Raakhe Kapoor Tandon, daughter of Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor, with Vigyan Gadodia, a co-promoter and director. Gadodia launched Yes Bank’s microfinance division. Aivalli is another ex-Yes Bank employee who has also worked at agribusiness giant Cargill and most recently Archer Daniels Midland where he was country general manager.