CropIn Technology Solutions Private Limited

South Asia Food and agriculture

CropIn is an Indian-based specialist in software for agribusiness. The company is using technology such as satellite images, artificial intelligence and machine learning to monitor crop health remotely, make yield predictions, and then pass on these insights to farmers. This in turn improves farmers’ access to finance and climate resilience.

  • Active
  • Exited

Our investment

We invested in the company in 2020 as part of our ‘Venture Scale-up Programme’, with the aim of improving the incomes and resilience of smallholder farmers across our markets. We invested as part of a $20 million funding round, and existing investors include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ankur Capital, and Chiratae Ventures.

Impact

Improve economic opportunities as a result of integration into commercial supply chains; and contribute to climate adaptation by increasing resilience to shocks for farmers (SDG 2.3, 2.4).

How?

By providing rapid, data-driven insights (SmartFarm) and commodity tracking (SmartRisk) to clients, CropIn makes it more commercially viable to integrate smallholder farmers into formal supply chains. This results in increased income for farmers from 1) increased knowledge, access to inputs and markets; 2) enhanced farm productivity through reduced waste and improved yields leading to less negative climate effects and increased food security.

Stakeholder Geography Characteristics
Suppliers/customers (farmers) of clients (including agri-input/seed companies, agribusinesses, government agencies, commodity traders, financial institutions and insurance providers).

The company reaches farmers globally, with 90 per cent presently located in India and Africa.

Smallholder farmers cultivating less than two hectares of land.

Scale Depth/Duration

4 million farmers reached globally. Expected to reach an additional 7.6 million farmers across India and Africa by 2022.

30 per cent increase in yields, 68 per cent farmers experiencing reduced losses from pests/weather events and 37 per cent of the farmers reported higher earnings from SmartFarm product assessments.

Grid Score Contribution

-

This investment is made under an approved Catalyst Strategy, and therefore does not require a grid score.

To help us direct our investments, we use a tool called the Development Impact Grid. The Grid scores every investment we plan out of a score of four, based on two factors: the difficulty of investing in the country and whether investment in that sector will lead to jobs.

  • Financial: CDC is not crowding out commercial investors through investment.
  • Value-add: The investment supports business development across CDC’s markets.
Risk
  • External: CDC recognises that ultimately benefits passed on to farmers from CropIn’s clients will vary and are partially dependent on farmers’ rights being protected by local laws and regulations.
  • Execution: The impact case relies on the business’ ability to scale up.
  • Alignment: The impact case also relies on continued significant reach to farmers in CDC geographies as the business scales up.

Environmental and social aspects

As a co-investment under our venture capital scale-up programme, we worked collaboratively with Chiratae Ventures (our co-investment partner) to develop a comprehensive environmental and social action plan (ESAP), to effectively manage environmental and social risks, ensure alignment with international best practice and maximise value-add opportunuties.

Key facts

Status:
Active
Region

Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

:
South Asia
Countries:
India
Sector

We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people.

:
Food and agriculture
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

:
Co-Investments Equity
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date CDC committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that CDC committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

:
November 2020
Amount

For direct investments, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the business or project (it may be a combination of equity and debt).

For funds, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the fund.

:
$3m
Domicile

This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.

:
India

We are invested in CropIn Technology Solutions Private Limited through Chiratae Ventures International Fund IV, which is managed by Chiratae India Investment Manager.

We do not hold direct relationships with the companies that investment funds invest in. Instead, we hold relationships directly with the fund. When investing through investment funds, CDC takes an active role as a limited partner to the fund, working with the fund manager to ensure best practices, including in environment, social and governance matters, and investment management oversight.

For further information on the fund, the fund manager, and the expected impact of the fund’s investment, click here.

Key facts

Status:
Active
Region

Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

:
South Asia
Countries:
India
Sector

We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people.

:
Food and agriculture
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

:
Intermediated investment
Fund:
Chiratae Ventures International Fund IV
Fund Manager:
Chiratae India Investment Manager
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date CDC committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that CDC committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

:
December 2020
Domicile

This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.

:
India