Switzerland-based agri-food investment firm Pioneering Ventures, on Monday (May 25), announced that it has acquired Mumbai-based agritech company Lateral Praxis. The duo is yet to disclose details of the transaction.
However, Pioneering Ventures’ cofounder, Pablo Erat, said that the acquisition will help the company provide tech-enabled solutions for the food supply chain including information access, apps, data analytics and risk mitigation. The use of technology and data would improve operational efficiencies and quality in daily supply chain activities, the companies added in a joint press release.
Highlighting the need for the acquisition, Erat added, “Our initial focus was to integrate supply chains end-to-end to facilitate the data-driven transformation from farm-to-fork. To create a positive change by reshaping the ecosystem, we need to reimagine the way food is produced and supplied while empowering and connecting all system partners in a highly inclusive way.”
So far, Pioneering Ventures has invested in five Indian agritech companies and two pilot ventures. Its portfolio includes firms such as fruits and vegetable supply chain FarmLink, citrus concentrate and citrus by-products producer Citrus Processing India, dairy product producer MilkLane, branded-fruit seller Desai Fruits & Vegetables, farmer-centric agri-finance and value chain services platform Samaaru and an integrated last-mile distribution platform DistriCo.
The VC firm claims to have recorded $65 Mn in sales in the financial year 2019-2020 across its businesses, representing a four-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 117%.
Lateral Praxis was founded in 1999 by Suniti Gupta. The company allows agricultural units and farmers to build, configure and implement innovative knowledge-based systems for legal compliance, audit tracking and risk management.
The company provides other tech solutions like online payment platforms, information aggregation and data mining to its clients, which includes Tata Projects Ltd, Deepak Fertilisers & Petrochemicals Ltd, Aurobindo Pharma Ltd, and so on. Besides this, it also works closely with central and state governments, private firms and farmer communities at village and panchayat level.
According to DataLabs by Inc42, the agritech sector recorded total funding of $244.59 Mn in 2019, an increase of over 350% in the amount of funding in the agritech sector from the previous year. Some startups in this domain include AgNext, Aquaconnect, Fasal, Freshokartz, Gramophone, O4S and Intello Labs.
“As Indian agriculture and food sector gets ready to embrace next-generation, tech-enabled future, the time is ripe for positive disruption,” Gupta added.