An Indian subsidiary of the Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF), the non-profit private foundation established by investor and philanthropist George Soros, has invested $2 million into a local fruit and vegetables brand.
Aspada’s funding of All Fresh Supply Management is its second agribusiness investment of the year. In June, it put $2 million into Schedulers Logistics, an integrated cold-chain trucking operator, which provides cold storage and secondary distribution in India.
Aspada is a permanent capital vehicle – an entity with an unlimited time horizon – which has received $25 million in total from SEDF to invest into a range of sectors including agribusiness, healthcare, education and financial services. SEDF last injected $15 million into the vehicle in April.
The vehicle wants to make two agriculture investments each year, and is currently considering early stage investment into an agricultural finance company and a fruit export firm supplying processed and wholesale fruit products to Europe, according to Thomas Hyland, co-founder and partner at Aspada.
“The late stage investment space is crowded in India, as many of the large investment firms compete fiercely for the few late stage deals in the market,” Hyland told Agri Investor. “Early stage investment in India is a very attractive route and there are numerous investment opportunities available.”
As the firm scales up, Aspada could consider attracting capital from other sources aside from SEDF, added Hyland.
Aspada also manages money for another Soros-backed initiative, the $17 million SONG fund launched in partnership with Google and the Indian School of Business in 2008. The fund provides early stage capital to small and medium sized enterprises in agriculture supply chains, as well as health care and affordable school education.