Swiss investor Pioneering Ventures buys agri-tech firm Lateral Praxis

Swiss investor Pioneering Ventures buys agri-tech firm Lateral Praxis
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27 May, 2020

Farm-focused investment firm Pioneering Ventures has acquired Mumbai-based agri-tech company Lateral Praxis.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition is expected to enhance the downstream reach of technology-enabled solutions, including information access, apps, data analytics and risk mitigation, for the Zurich-based firm's food supply chain, Pioneering Ventures said in a statement.

“End-to-end supply chain digitisation has been a core pillar of our strategy... The acquisition is an important milestone in the implementation of our strategy to accelerate the development of our fully integrated food technology platform and help us drive large-scale transformation across the food ecosystem through data intelligence-based services,” Pablo Erat, co-founder of Pioneering Ventures, said.

An investment platform that focuses on food, finance and technology, Pioneering Ventures has been investing in the Indian food ecosystem since 2004. Through its portfolio firms in India, which include FarmLink, Citrus   Processing India, MilkLane, Desai Fruits Venture, Samaaru and DistriCo, the company claims to produce 450 tonnes of food daily that reaches over 1.5 million consumers.

Lateral Praxis, on the other hand, was set up by Suniti Gupta in 1999. It works closely with central and state governments, along with farmer communities at the village level, to build, configure and implement knowledge-based systems. The company provides solutions such as online payment platforms, information aggregation and data mining to its clients such as Tata Projects, Deepak Fertilisers & Petrochemicals and Aurobindo Pharma.

“As the Indian agriculture and food sector gets ready to embrace the next generation, tech-enabled future, the time is ripe for positive disruption. Our experience and core competencies will be augmented well by Pioneering Ventures’ expertise and presence across the food supply chain, helping us jointly scale up our solutions and delivery,” Gupta said.

The agritech space has been an active investment ground lately. 

Last week, NUPA Technologies, which owns and operates agritech startup Eggoz, raised Rs 2.5 crore ($329,359 at current exchange rates) as part of its seed funding round from market research firm Tracxn Labs, equity crowdfunding platform AngelList, Tri-Deep Capital, along with founders of Letstransport, Pushkar Singh, Sudarshan Ravi and Ankit Parasher. 

Prior to that, artificial intelligence-based agritech startup Intello Labs raised $5.9 million in Series A funding round, led by new investor Saama Capital. 

Business-to-business agritech startup Clover Ventures also bagged about $922,500 in venture debt from Alteria Capital.