Venture capital firm Omnivore has invested an undisclosed amount in agritech startup BioPrime as it launched its OmniX Bio initiative to back early-stage agritech and life science startups.
OmniX Bio is meant to support Indian entrepreneurs who work in the fields of agricultural biotechnology, novel farming systems, bioenergy and biomaterials, as well as innovative foods, including alternative protein.
Omnivore will provide venture funding, mentorship from global leaders, institutional partnerships and business development support to the startups under its OmniX Bio initiative.
Founded in 2016 by Amit Shinde, Renuka Diwan, and Shekhar Bhosale, BioPrime is developing biological crop inputs that enhance yields without causing unintended environmental consequences that affect farmers and consumers.
“At BioPrime we are focusing on discovering fundamental aspects of plant communication, identifying new biomolecules and new modes of modulating plant responses. SNIPR and BIONEXUS enable BioPrime to develop new biologicals and radically improve existing products at a fraction of cost and time, ” said Renuka Diwan, cofounder and CEO of BioPrime.
Bio Prime’s SNIPR (Smart Nanomolecules Induces Physiological Response) is a discovery platform that identifies innate immunity or natural defence mechanuisms in plants, curates unique traits and delivers crop input formulations. BIONEXUS is a collection of plant-associated microbes.
“In BioPrime, we have a great example of an innovation designed to improve both human and planetary health. We hope to see more entrepreneurs like the BioPrime team step up to the challenge and help change the course of Indian agriculture for the better,” said Mark Kahn, managing partner at Omnivore.
According to FICCI, India’s agri-input industry’s value stood at $5 Bn in 2018 with domestic consumption accounting for $2.77 Bn. The industry is set to grow at 8.1% annually and reach $8.1 Bn by 2025.
According to the Situation Assessment of Agricultural Households and Land and Livestock Holdings of Households in Rural India (SAS), only 22% of India’s farmers reported using their own seeds for farming. As many as 71.5% of them bought seeds from private sources, including local markets, dealers, private processors and contract farming sponsors and companies.
Earlier this month, Agri-input startup Agrostar had raised $70 Mn in series D Funding from Evolvence, Schroers Capital, Hero Enterprise and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.