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Singapore's Seviora Capital Intensifies Focus On Asian Food, Agriculture

Amanda Cheesley

16 February 2024

With the world population set to hit 10 billion by 2050,  “The Future of Food and Farming Strategy” (Seviora T3F).

The strategy invests in innovative, high-growth agri-food companies in the region that provide sustainable solutions and technologies to meet the challenges posed by demographic changes and fast-evolving consumer needs. It seeks companies that can help the agri-food system accelerate to a more sustainable and resilient future, and one which meets evolving consumption trends, the investment manager said in a statement.

Asia is home to 60 per cent of the world’s population but only 35 per cent of global arable land. It needs more solutions to improve agriculture efficiency, market access and financing for farmers as the agriculture sector in emerging economies is severely fragmented. It will also need to produce more using fewer resources to feed its growing population.

Precision agriculture which optimises crop productivity is a key tool for achieving this, enabling farmers, for instance, to target their fertiliser application more precisely. Adoption of the technology is expected to accelerate in the future.

Asia is also experiencing a shift in food trends as its consumers are becoming more affluent, sophisticated, and demanding. These trends are expected to drive $2.4 trillion of incremental food spending in Asia by 2030. However, it will require $1.5 trillion in upstream investments to meet this forecast, the firm said.

The demand for food products in such a populous region, alongside worries about global food security amidst geopolitical challenges, and the supply-chain disruptions caused by the pandemic, have put food production under the spotlight. Human-caused global warming and a desire to develop more sustainable agriculture add to the mix. This news service has carried a number of articles recently about how wealth managers are paying more attention to food production and its demands. See more here, here and here.


Decarbonisation
With agri-food being a significant contributor to global emissions, accounting for about 34 per cent of all emissions, Anuj Maheshwari, head of agri-food at Temasek, highlighted how the transformation of the agri-food sector is critical to achieving decarbonisation while ensuring food security, and meeting the evolving needs of consumers.

This dynamic is even more pronounced in some regions in Asia, such as South and Southeast Asia, where it contributes up to 50 per cent of total emissions. Agri-food is therefore a key consideration when looking to decarbonise Asia.

"Through this partnership with Seviora Group, we aim to scale capital and create value by investing in late venture and early growth agri-food companies across the APAC region that are at the forefront of innovation, leveraging technology to drive positive and sustainable change across the agri-food value chain," Maheshwari added.

Seviora T3F
Seviora T3F is a venture capital and growth equity fund, investing in venture and early stage agri-food companies in APAC. Since August 2023, the Seviora T3F Strategy has raised $173 million, including seed capital from Seviora and Temasek, alongside cornerstone investor Norinchukin Bank and other institutional investors, the firm said in a statement. Seviora Capital said it expects to raise capital from institutional investors to participate in this commitment to drive transformation in the agri-food industry.

In January 2024, under the Seviora T3F Strategy, an investment of $17 million was made in Country Delight – a subscription-led online food essentials delivery brand in India, which focuses on delivering high quality milk, milk derivatives, and other food essentials direct to consumers.

The business's managers think Country Delight’s tech-enabled platform and strong brand proposition built around quality and trust allows the company to be best positioned to address key customer pain points relating to purity, freshness, and convenience.

Over the past decade, Temasek has invested over $8 billion in innovative and scalable farm-to-fork businesses globally, with a growing portfolio of investments in APAC. Seviora Capital believes that the time is right to deploy capital to this key sector in APAC to benefit from the strong growth expected over the next decade.

Seviora Capital provides venture capital and growth funds, as well as other investment solutions in both public and private markets to global investors. It is part of the Seviora Group, a Singapore-headquartered independent asset management group with $52 billion in assets under management, wholly owned by Temasek.