Venture Capital fund, Ivy Cap Ventires, has tied in with Thomson Reuters Group’s venture, Reuters Market Light (RML), which provides highly personalized agricultural information over mobile phones to the farming community in India. As part of the agreement, IvyCap has become the lead investor in RML Information Services Private Limited. Thomson Reuters remains a shareholder and partner.
RML, launched in 2007, now has 1 million unique subscribers so far in an estimated 50,000 villages across 13 states in India. It is sold as an easy-to-use card (RML Direct) in thousands of retail outlets in rural India through which farmers can gain information about more than 300 crops and about 1300 markets. Farmers can also know about agricultural, weather and market price aspects. In total, nearly five million farmers have been impacted by the service through information sharing. Thomson Reuters also has a number of other online verticals like Reuters news network and Thomson innovation which is a query based search engine for Intellectual property. It allows Intellectual property professionals and organizations to subscribe on a monthly/yearly basis and avail services and tools.
IvyCap invests in start-ups and growth stage companies across sectors including agriculture, education, energy, healthcare and technology. It is sponsored by the Alumni Trust, a group of graduates from different branches of the Indian Institute of Technology and other educational institutions. It’s first round of funding, launched in 2011 reached an amount of 19.4 million. The VC firm has a unique philosophy of ‘giving back‘ by working towards building a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem across educational institutions of the country.
RML has few competitors like Intuit which have their own platform called ‘Safal’ and the government of India which has its developmental programs round the year. Another start up called Agropedia emerged from IIT Kanpur which is a collection of information related to agricultural practices prevalent in India. Its based on a Wiki-like interface.
Image Courtesy | RML
Story Source | India Digital Review