INDIA – Leap India Food Logistics, an agricultural warehousing and logistics firm has raised Rs 164 crore (about US$23 million) in Series-B funding from the Danish SDG Investment fund and Neev Fund.

The firm will use the fresh funds to build a large platform of grain storage sites and connect the grain supply chain from farm to business.

The company believes that the platform can help Food Corporation of India (FCI) and the private sector to make grain storage more efficient with the use of technology and modern storage infrastructure.

This comes at a time when the Food Corporation of India is targeting a major move from bag storage to bulk storage in steel silos facilitated with connected railway infrastructure and dedicated corridors for efficient mass handling of grains in both procurement and deficit zones.

FCI intends to rapidly develop these modern food storage silos through a public private partnership model.

The government has already opened up the agriculture storage sector to private participation and has auctioned close to 100 steel silos or mechanized steel warehouses for grain storage on 30-year contracts to private players.

The rejuvenation and modernization of India’s grain industry is an opportunity that Leap India Food Logistics is seeking to capitalize on.

Commenting on the new funding, Leap India promoters said that the investment will allow the company to “expand and reach a critical size, while, at the same time, team up with strong, foreign institutional investors.”

“By investing in Leap, we are addressing one of India’s most pressing challenges, namely helping to improve food storage efficiency and reduce undernourishment, while having secured an attractive risk vs. return profile in the deal,” Deepa Hingorani, an executive from SDG Investment Fund said.

“We welcome the Danish SDG Investment Fund as a partner and co-investor in Leap India. This fructifies our fidelity to the Sustainable Development Goals of poverty alleviation by doubling farmer income through food security in India,” Manav Bansal, CIO, Neev Fund added.

In April 2018, Leap India raised US$10 million in equity funding from Neev Fund, a co-investment platform backed by UK’s Department for International Development and the State Bank of India.