Bidra Innovation Ventures has received a USD$200 million commitment by Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) and the OCP Group, to expand Bidra's investment scope to include innovations in energy, water, mining and agriculture.
This latest round of funding comes one year after Bidra launched a $50 million fund backed by the same investors focused on agriculture.
“We are grateful for UM6P’s visionary leadership and support as we continue to back innovators forging the future via sustainable technologies for Africa and beyond,” said Amar Singh, head of group, Bidra Innovation Ventures. “Having OCP’s support is a tremendous advantage because now we can extend OCP’s regional know-how and distribution capacity to startups that are ready to scale.”
In December 2022, OCP Group announced a green investment strategy with a $13 billion commitment over the next four years to achieve full carbon neutrality by 2040. “If you have technology that is ready for prime-time, consider Bidra as a gateway to scaling your technology in Africa and beyond,” Singh said.
Over the past year, Bidra has backed robotics used to reduce chemical volumes (Niqo Robotics), biopesticides for deadly insects in Africa (Agrospheres), soil biology and diagnostics technology to customize fertility recommendations (Pattern Ag), a digital storefront for Kenyan farmers to access crop inputs otherwise difficult to obtain (Apollo Agriculture), as well as electrochemical technology to permanently sequester carbon and produce sulfuric acid by recycling phosphogypsum (Travertine).
“At Niqo Robotics, we are pioneering a sustainable revolution in agriculture through AI powered agricultural robots,” said Jaisimha Rao, founder and CEO of Niqo Robotics. “With the support of Bidra, UM6P and OCP Group, we continue to develop our robotic technology to benefit farmers in emerging markets that currently rely on outdated methods and manual labour.”
Added Rob Hranac, CEO of Pattern Ag: “Bidra shares our belief that soil analysis plays a vital role in the future of green farming,” he said. “We are eager to continue our work, expanding our reach ensuring our technology can benefit rural communities around the world with comprehensive macro and micronutrient analysis."
Bidra Innovation Ventures is a $250M venture capital firm based in San Francisco, California and Ben Guerir, Morocco. UM6P is a hub for education, research, innovation and entrepreneurship, working to build collaborations with universities around the world. The OCP Group is a leader in plant nutrition solutions and the world's largest producer of phosphate fertilizers.
Learn more about creating a sustainable food supply in arid landscapes at the AgraME event 9-10 October 2023 in Dubai.