Agritech startup Clover raises venture debt from Alteria

Agritech startup Clover raises venture debt from Alteria
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6 May, 2020

Business-to-business (B2B) agritech startup Clover Ventures has raised about $922,500 in venture debt from Alteria Capital, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Bengaluru-based startup raised $5.5 million in a series A round earlier this year. Impact investor Omnivore Capital and venture capital firms Accel and Mayfield had made the investment.

The company has a network of farmers in India and operates an eponymous greenhouse-based agritech platform. It claims to sell only premium quality, greenhouse-grown fresh produce through its B2B and B2C channels.

Clover’s business model, which operates demand-led cultivation, counts the B2B channel as its primary line of business, Omnivore’s managing partner Mark Kahn had told TechCircle in February.

“Agritech is a segment which continues to see tailwinds despite Covid-related issues and Clover provides high quality produce consistently, which is at an even higher premium currently,” Vinod Murali, managing partner at Alteria Capital said.

Demand-led cultivation, the company said, caters to specific and predictable client demands. Its managed farm network of greenhouses are based in peri-urban and rural areas that surround urban consumption zones to reduce spoilage.

Related: How Indian agritech startups can help address climate risks

Clover Ventures was co-founded by Avinash BR, Gururaj Rao, Arvind Murali, and Santhosh Narasipura. 

Former-Bosch executive Avinash BR has also worked as a venture investor with Aavishkaar. Rao’s corporate experience includes roles at Myntra, CallidusCloud, and Info Edge. Murali was earlier based in the Gulf in various sales management roles while Narasipura worked in his family’s manufacturing business, the statement added.

“The recently closed Series A round alongside Alteria's current investment will help us achieve our vision to reshape the supply chain for greenhouse-grown fresh produce,” Avinash BR said.

Alteria Capital operates a corpus fund of about $127 million with domestic institutional investors, family offices and founders. Its cheque sizes have ranged anything from the $300,000 to $13 million, in a portfolio of over 25 companies.

Clover is Alteria’s second known agritech investment. Artificial intelligence-enabled agritech software solutions provider CropIn is also a portfolio company, according to Alteria Capital’s website.

The agritech sector in the Indian technology startup space is shaping up to be a well-funded area. In April alone, three separate fundraises at agritech platforms Bijak, DeHaat and Ergos, totalled to the figure of $28.8 million.

Omnivore, an active investor in the agritech space, co-invested in Arya, a provider of post-harvest supply chain services, in a $6 million deal in March. It also co-invested in B2B food commodity marketplace TechnifyBiz in a $2 million seed round in January.