More than $322 million of private equity found its way into the food and beverages sector in the first half of 2018. This was way above the highest amount that the sector had raised - $214 million in 2014 – in the past four years.
Jaideep Mehta, CEO, News Corp VCCircle
There has been a flurry of investments in mid-sized food companies of late. General Atlantic, for instance, struck its first-ever control deal in India pushing funding in the sector to an all-time high in the past four years. What is driving the action and what kind of businesses are getting funded?
Hemendra Mathur, Venture Partner, Bharat Innovation Fund
Puneet Kumar, Vice President, Nexus Venture Partners
Vaidhehi Ravindran, Vice President, Aspada Investment Advisors
S Venkatraman, Partner and Director, Rabo Equity Advisors (Moderator)
Home-grown brands such as Raw Pressery and Epigamia have created space for themselves in a market that was ruled by companies that had legacy, deep pockets and brands with high recall holding them up. How did they make way for themselves in a cluttered and competitive market?
Shripad Nadkarni, Founder Director, Fingerlix(Interviewee)
Archna Shukla, Editor in Chief, News Corp VCCircle (Interviewer)
Food retail, including both the offline organized chains as well as online grocery, is in the thick of action in India. While seasoned investors are chasing opportunities in homegrown online grocery startups, offline formats are being vied, too. World’s largest retailer Amazon, for instance, recently bought out Aditya Birla Group owned retail chain More, along with a PE firm. Is retail the next holy grail in the food sector?
Ebrahim Akbari, Co founder, Doodhwala
Amuleek Singh, Founder & CEO, Chai Point
Kuchibotla Srinivas, Partner – Food, Agri & Retail Practice,KPMG
Bruhadeeswaran R, Assistant Editor, News Corp VCCircle (Moderator)
The industry has seen a rise in the launch of companies with very specialised offerings. From only organic food products to beverages targetting only women to snacks only for children, there are several companies that have segmented their offerings and are targetting a niche set of customers. Interestingly, several such companies have raised investments from seasoned investors. While a differentiated positioning in a crowded and generic market like food is understandable, it does beg the question -- is the market big enough for such thin segmentation?
Prasoon Gupta, Co founder and Director, Sattviko
Pawan Raj Kumar, CEO, Supa Star Foods
Vijay Uttarwar, CEO, Naturell(India)
Hitesh Ahuja, Founder and CEO, Yumlane
Ranjani R, Associate Editor, News Corp VCCircle (Moderator)
Entrepreneurs and investors have woken up to the opportunity to build and disrupt the farm sector for better productivity and the well-being of the farmer. What kind of experiments are brewing on the farm land and what value proposition do investors see?
Amardeep Sibia, CEO, SatSure Ltd
Krishna Kumar, Founder & CEO, CropIn Technology Solutions Pvt Ltd.
Taranjeet Singh Bhamra, CEO, AgNext Technologies
Vasudevan Chinnathambi, Co founder, Ninjacart
Jinesh Shah, Founding Partner, Omnivore Partners
Anurag Malempati, Founder & CEO, Leap India Food & Logistics
Gaurav Kapoor, Senior Private Sector Development Adviser, UK Department for International Development (DFID) (Moderator)
We bring our Showcase session, a curated platform that brings a set of handpicked innovative food & agri startups to make an elevator pitch to select jury of angel investors, houseful of VCs & fellow entrepreneurs. This is also an opportunity to early stage, pre-revenue, startups as well to grab investor attention.
Hemendra Mathur, Venture Partner, Bharat Innovation Fund
Shruti Srivastava, Principal, Omnivore Partners
Jinesh ShahFounding Partner, Omnivore Partners
Jinesh Shah is the co-founder of Omnivore Partners, a venture fund investing in early stage Indian start-ups developing breakthrough technologies for food, agriculture and rural livelihoods.
Jinesh is a closely involved with multiple Omnivore-backed startups, including Stellapps Technologies, Barrix Agro Sciences, AgNext, Ecozen and FR8. Previously, Jinesh was the Vice President and CFO at Nexus Venture Partners, one of India’s leading early stage venture capital funds, where he lead the finance organization and also few select portfolio investments. He earlier served in Finance roles with Datamatics (leading Treasury/M&A), Patni Computers (initiating the IPO process), and HCL Technologies (founding the BPO business).
He is a Chartered Accountant with B.Com from R. A. Poddar College and an MMS (Finance) from the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS).
Amardeep SibiaCEO, SatSure Ltd
Krishna KumarFounder & CEO, CropIn Technology Solutions Pvt Ltd.
Krishna Kumar, Founder and CEO at CropIn Technology Solutions, has made it possible to enable data-driven farming by connecting all the stakeholders in the agri ecosystem. CropIn is a leading Global Full-Stack AgTech Company that provides SaaS based solutions thus enabling businesses to utilize technology to effectively drive their initiatives around Digitization, Compliance, Sustainability and Traceability.
CropIn is passionately driven with the mission to 'maximize per acre value' and the vision to 'make every farm traceable'. With robust solutions that are crop and region agnostic, CropIn has so far digitized nearly 3.2 million acres of farmland, enriching the lives of nearly 2.1 million farmers in addition to creating a footprint in 29 countries globally.
Hemendra MathurVenture Partner, Bharat Innovation Fund
Hemendra has over 22 years of experience in venture capital, private equity, management consulting and investment banking.
Hemendra in his career has invested in early stage agritech companies and SMEs in food processing and agricultural supply chain. He is a mentor, investor and board member with several food and ag-tech start-ups working on innovations in agri-inputs, market linkages, mechanization, food nutrition and farmer financing.
Hemendra is working as Venture Partner with Bharat Innovation Fund. In his previous assignments; he has worked with SEAF, Yes Bank, Rabobank, KSA Technopak and ORG-MARG.
He has authored many papers on the subject and speaks regularly at conferences pertaining to food and agribusiness sector. He is a management graduate from IIM (Ahmedabad) and Agricultural Engineer from Rajasthan Agricultural University.
Taranjeet Singh BhamraCEO, AgNext Technologies
Prasoon GuptaCo founder and Director, Sattviko
A graduate from IIT Roorkee, Prasoon Gupta, Co-Founder and Director, Sattviko, is a serial entrepreneur. Owing to his talent and business acumen he was recognized as the youngest ‘Distinguished Alumni’ from IIT Roorkee and one of the youngest charter members of TiE Delhi. Prasoon has an extensive experience in entrepreneurship to his credit as he founded his first venture, ‘Techbuddy Consulting Pvt Ltd’ when he was still a student at the IIT.
Hailing from a rooted family with a modern outlook, he conceptualized ‘Sattviko Food’ based on traditional Indian recipes by giving them a modern twist with help of food technology. Thus with an aim to add a little bit of ‘Indianess’ to every household, he along with his friend Ankush Sharma in 2014 founded Sattviko which today has become India’s fastest growing food brand. The premium brand offers more than 25 tasty and healthy packaged snacks from across the Indian states such as Khakhra, Makhane, flavoured raisin, Gur-Chana, flavoured flax seeds, peanuts etc.
Under his leadership, Sattviko is growing with leaps and bounds. In 2017 Sattviko raised an undisclosed amount of Pre-Series-A investment from a bunch of investors led by Raman Roy, chairman of Nasscom. During the last financial year (2017-18) it grew at 700 percent rate and very soon high-quality Sattviko quick bites will be available in the middle-east and European countries.
After becoming a success story in just three years, Prasoon was rewarded with ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ in December last year by TiE Delhi NCR. Well known publication—Business World recognized him among the top 40 young entrepreneur in its 40 under 40 series. ‘Under Make in India’ programme Ministry of Skill Development conferred ‘National Entrepreneurship Award’ on Sattviko. The venture has also been nominated among top 20 startups of the country by Ministry of Food Processing, Govt of India. As Sattviko has a lot of anecdotes to say, its story has been published by Ivey Publishing and ISB in form of a successful case study for budding entrepreneurs. During his initial days with Techbuddy, he trained more than 15,000 students across the country and earned the ‘Pioneer of Tomorrow’ and India’s hottest startups awards from reputed publication houses for his venture.
Apart from business ventures, Prasoon also founded a non-profit organization called Swarajneeti, an NGO which is dedicated to democratic reforms in India through technological innovations.
In his leisure time he loves to travel. He believes in making new acquaintances, particularly with entrepreneurs. As a firm believer in ‘Karma’, he has been helping a number of startups and has also invested in couple of them.
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