India: Sathguru Management plans to raise $100m food & agri fund

Hyderabad-based consulting firm Sathguru Management Consultants is in the process of raising $100 million for an Innovation in Food and Agriculture Fund, according to a report in The Economic Times.

The new fund, which will be managed by the firm’s fund management company Sathguru Catalyser Advisors, is likely to invest in eight to 12 companies. The average size of investment by the fund is estimated to be around $8 million each in lieu of a significant minority stake.

According to the news report, the fund is keen on investing in companies that are engaged in adopting technology solutions to address  issues impacting agriculture, food and nutrition in India. The first deal from this fund, which is touted to be like an accelerator, is expected to close in the next few months.

The fund will be headed by Vijayaraghavan K, A Krishna Kumar, Prabhu C and Venu Gopal Chintada.

“We want to bring in techno-commercial expertise,“ Chintada, partner at Sathguru Catalyser Advisors told the news paper. “We are focusing on established businesses that have already created channel partners and developed product on a commercial level. From that stage, if they struggle to move up to the full fledged growth stage, that is where we want to come in.”

“Today innovation is used interchangeably with startup. However, we are not necessarily talking about startups because innovation takes place in mid and large-sized companies as well,“ Chintada added.

In 2010, Sathguru Management Consultants launched a venture fund initiative with an initial corpus of $100 million. Christened ‘T-harmony’ venture fund, the initiative was formed to function under the trilateral business models.

At the time, the fund was expected to invest $2-3 million each in around 25 ventures across 6-7 countries, mainly in agriculture, food and seed industry.

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