– LEAF has set its sights on investing in approximately 12 startups, with a technology-focused approach.
Hyderabad, Telangana, India: Caspian Equity, a venture capital fund based in Hyderabad and specializing in social impact startups, has introduced its new fund called LEAF (Leap for Agriculture Fund). The focus of the fund is on early-stage Food & Agribusiness startups. Through its investments, LEAF aims to create a positive social and environmental impact while also striving for attractive financial returns. To achieve these goals, the fund places a strong emphasis on collaborating closely with portfolio companies and providing them with necessary support.
Caspian Equity, located in Hyderabad and specializing in investing in social impact startups, has unveiled its new equity fund, LEAF (Leap for Agriculture Fund). The fund’s focus is on Food & Agribusiness startups at the early stages of development. With its investments, LEAF intends to make a positive impact on society and the environment, while seeking attractive financial returns. The fund emphasizes close collaboration with portfolio companies to provide support and enhance their growth.
“Caspian LEAF will focus on high impact, close to farmer solutions that benefit small and marginal farmers. Some of the spaces we are looking at are, efficiency in input use, reduction in drudgery, labour saving farm machinery, close to farm processing and traceability solutions. We hope to be more than just investors, and help build robust and sustainable businesses that become market leaders in the spaces they operate in,” Emmanuel Murray, Investment Director at Caspian Equity and Fund Manager of Caspian LEAF Fund.
With a corpus of Rs 52 crore, the newly launched LEAF Fund by Caspian Equity will focus on investing in early-stage food and agriculture startups with investment sizes ranging from Rs 1-5 crore per startup. Targeting a portfolio of 12 startups, the fund has already secured commitments from notable investors including IndusInd Bank and individuals such as Sivakumar Surampudi, Kishore Moorjani, Swaminathan Aiyar, and Shyamprasad Bhat.
Commenting on the investment Srinivas Bonam, Head Inclusive Banking Group, IndusInd Bank says, “Caspian Equity has been one of the earliest entrants in the impact investing space, with an impressive track record of making investments in some of best-known impact organizations in India. It is heartening to see such an experienced and talented team enter the early-stage agri based startup segment and nurture young companies from the grassroot level. Our investment in this endeavor is a vote of confidence that we place in this upcoming venture. I wish the team great success.”
The LEAF Fund intends to provide start-ups with equity financing during their key years of growth and expansion, while offering close operational support and monitoring governance structures. The Fund’s goal is to significantly enhance the agriculture value chain, focusing on the upstream segment, to address pain points throughout the agricultural supply chain.
Caspian LEAF fund will lay emphasis on closely working with startups to provide support in addition to aiming to attain attractive financial return. Well known economist, journalist, and columnist, Swaminathan Aiyar has also invested in Caspian LEAF and feels “The rich experience that Caspian Equity has acquired in about 20 years of impact investing has made it into one of the veterans of this sector. The Leaf Fund by Caspian Equity will not only invest in companies in Agri sector but also provide them with governance and technical guidance. My investment in the fund is driven by my belief in market economy and abilities of Caspian.”
“The Launch of Caspian LEAF fund is consistent with long term vision of Caspian Equity to work closely with early-stage entrepreneurs and is fifth fund in the impact sector. The fourth fund on Small Medium Enterprise is doing well despite the Covid headwinds for more than two years and we hope to consistently repeat the strong performance with LEAF in Agri/Agri-tech space,” says Saurabh Johri, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer at Caspian Equity.