Ecozen Solutions, a campus start-up from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, has raised $1 million in Series A funding from sole investor Omnivore Partners, the Indian agtech-focused venture capital firm.
With the capital, Omnivore has bought a significant minority stake that is “more than a quarter and less than a half”, Mark Kahn, founding partner of Omnivore, told Agri Investor.
Jinesh Shah, another founding partner of the VC firm, will join the Ecozen board, Kahn added.
Ecozen is expected to raise “twice as much” in its next round of capital raising; Omnivore expects to support the Series B round, according to Kahn.
Founded in 2009, Ecozen delivers solar powered products for irrigation and will use the funds to ramp up its production capacity and expand its market research. It also has a solar powered cold storage system that is designed to prevent wastage of perishable food products that is estimated at over 30 percent, according to the Ecozen website.
“Ecozen is the very first campus start-up we have backed so far,” said Kahn. “It’s a company that has gotten great technologies and potentials, and we are very eager to see them scale up.”
Ominvore launched a $45 million fund in August 2010 to support entrepreneurs who develop solutions to boost farm productivity, agricultural sustainability, modernise agribusiness supply chains and farm-sourced food products.
Kahn said the fund is half invested and will be fully invested in the next 18 to 24 months and “is 100 percent focused in India”. Family offices and high net worth individuals account for half of the investor base while institutional investors account for the remainder, according to Kahn. They are all India-based, but there are plans to attract overseas institutional investors in the future.
The fund has a range of supply chain and food technologies companies in its investment pipeline, according to Kahn.