Organic food exporter Suminter raises funds from impact investor responsAbility

Mumbai-based organic products exporter Suminter India Organics has raised an undisclosed amount of funds from Swiss impact investor responsAbility Investments AG.

The swiss impact investor has picked up a minority stake in the organics product exporter, marking its second deal in the food and agriculture sector in India.

The funds raised will be used mainly for expansion and working capital requirements.

Suminter India Organics was founded by Sameer Mehra in 2003. It produces completely organic, natural, and non-GMO products like spices, oil seeds, herbs, and cereals, for export. The exporter works with more than 50,000 small-scale Indian farmers, across Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala, Uttarakhand, and Rajasthan, enabling them to access the global market.

The company’s sourcing and processing operations are spread across Asia and Africa, with customers in 20 countries, including the US.

Suminter registered revenue of ₹528 crores, during FY17, growing from previous year’s ₹334 crores. It further tripled net profit from ₹14.4 crores in FY16 to ₹43.7 crores in FY17, as reported by VCCircle.

The exporter raised $3 million in its first external venture funding round from Nexus Venture Partners in December 2007. While Mehra, along with his family holds a minority stake in the company, it also counts asset management firm Capricorn Investment Group, along Skoll Foundation, among its backers.

Other organic food brands and exporters in India include Sresta, Organic India, 24 Mantra, and Organic Garden, among many others.

According to an ASSOCHAM and EY report, Indian organic market is estimated at around ₹4,000 crores, which is expected to grow to around ₹10,000 to ₹12,000 crores by 2020.

India is the second largest exporter of organic products in Asia, after China. During 2015-16, Indian exported food products worth $30 crores to major organic food importers US, European Union, Canada, and New Zealand. It is to be noted that oilseeds accounted for India’s overall food exports.

With the government’s focus on organic products and the growing interest among people to make healthy lifestyle choices, the organics food market is expected to continue its growth trajectory.

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