ABC World Asia, an impact investment firm set up by Temasek Trust two years ago, has made its first Indian investment, leading a $20 million investment round in Bengaluru-based agri-tech firm CropIn Technologies.
Chiratae Ventures, Invested Development and Ankur Capital were returning investors in the round. New investors such as CDC Group and Kris Gopalakrishnan’s family office Pratithi Investment Trust, participated in the round, according to a statement
With this new round of investment, CropIn has raised a total funding of $33.1 million to date.
Sugandhi Matta, managing director of ABC World Asia, will join CropIn as a board member.
This is ABC World’s third investment since it closed its fund at S$405 million ($307.74mn), a spokesperson told VCCircle. It had last raised S$384mn ($282 mn ) in October 2019.
ABC World focuses on five main investment themes and sectors that can reframe Asia’s biggest environmental and social challenges into growth and development opportunities. These include climate and water solutions, financial and digital inclusion, better healthcare and education, sustainable food and agriculture, and smart and liveable cities, the fund said.
Earlier it invested in Singapore-based renewables firm Sunseap Group in January 2020 and an Australian plant-based meat start-up v2food last October.
“Sustainable food and agriculture is a core investment theme for ABC World Asia,” David Heng, founder and CEO of ABC World Asia said, adding that CropIn’s digital solutions will enable farmers to utilize real-time data for better decision-making and improved farm productivity.
“The industry now faces challenges more pronounced than before, with the COVID-19 global pandemic highlighting the vulnerability of global food supplies and impacting the livelihoods of many smallholder farmers. This investment underscores our support of such smart and sustainable agri-tech solutions that can build resilience in agriculture,”Heng said.
CropIn said it would use this capital infusion to focus on its global expansion and develop its machine learning-based predictive analytics platform, SmartRisk to further strengthen its artificial intelligence capabilities.
Recently, CropIn opened an Amsterdam office, and will be hiring local leaders to drive growth in the European market, it said.
“The robust, predictive power of digitalisation offers tremendous potential for the agriculture industry to leapfrog its many challenges in the coming years. The industry is capturing more data than ever, on everything from agronomy, weather and logistics to market price volatility, which has helped reduce acute data gaps throughout the value chain,” Krishna Kumar, founder and CEO of CropIn, said.
Kumar said that agri-businesses are increasingly adopting agri-tech solutions like artificial intelligence, data analytics, and the internet of things in order to improve yields, optimise production and improve resilience and sustainability.
Ambit Corporate Finance acted as the financial advisor to CropIn for this funding round.