British International Investment

CropIn Technology Solutions Private Limited

South AsiaFood & Agriculture

CropIn is an Indian-based specialist in software for agribusiness. The company is using technology such as satellite images, artificial intelligence and machine learning to monitor crop health remotely, make yield predictions, and then pass on these insights to farmers. This in turn improves farmers’ access to finance and climate resilience.

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

We invested in the company in 2020 as part of our ‘Venture Scale-up Programme’, with the aim of improving the incomes and resilience of smallholder farmers across our markets. We invested as part of a $20 million funding round, and existing investors include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ankur Capital, and Chiratae Ventures.

Impact information

Applies to investments made from 2019 onwards. The tabs in this section define what we expect to achieve through the investment, assessing the potential impact of the investment against six dimensions of impact. You can find more details on our methodology of assessing impact here.

What?

Impact

Improve economic opportunities as a result of integration into commercial supply chains; and contribute to climate adaptation by increasing resilience to shocks for farmers (SDG 2.3, 2.4).

How?

How?

By providing rapid, data-driven insights (SmartFarm) and commodity tracking (SmartRisk) to clients, CropIn makes it more commercially viable to integrate smallholder farmers into formal supply chains. This results in increased income for farmers from 1) increased knowledge, access to inputs and markets; 2) enhanced farm productivity through reduced waste and improved yields leading to less negative climate effects and increased food security.

Who?

Stakeholder Geography Characteristics
Suppliers/customers (farmers) of clients (including agri-input/seed companies, agribusinesses, government agencies, commodity traders, financial institutions and insurance providers).

The company reaches farmers globally, with 90 per cent presently located in India and Africa.

Smallholder farmers cultivating less than two hectares of land.

How much?

Scale Depth/Duration

4 million farmers reached globally. Expected to reach an additional 7.6 million farmers across India and Africa by 2022.

30 per cent increase in yields, 68 per cent farmers experiencing reduced losses from pests/weather events and 37 per cent of the farmers reported higher earnings from SmartFarm product assessments.

Contribution/additionality

Contribution/additionality
  • Financial additionality: We are not crowding out commercial investors through investment.
  • Value additionality: The investment supports business development across the markets where we invest.

Grid score

Grid Score

To help us direct our investments, we previously used a tool called the Development Impact Grid. It scored investments out of four, based on two factors: the difficulty of investing in a country and the propensity of the sector to generate employment. This tool was used for investments until the end of 2021. Since 2022 it has been replaced by the Impact Score.

This investment is made under an approved Catalyst Strategy, and therefore does not require a grid score.

Risk

External Risk
  • CDC recognises that ultimately benefits passed on to farmers from CropIn’s clients will vary and are partially dependent on farmers’ rights being protected by local laws and regulations.
Execution Risk
  • the impact case relies on the business’ ability to scale up.
Alignment Risk
  • the impact case also relies on continued significant reach to farmers in CDC geographies as the business scales up.

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    :
    March 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.

    :
    D4747
    Status

    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).

    :
    Active
    Region

    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.

    :
    South Asia
    Sector

    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    :
    Food & Agriculture

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Equity
    Start date :
    November 2020
    Amount :
    $3.67m
    Currency of investment :
    INR
    Domicile

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.

    :
    India
    Climate finance

    Indicates whether the investment is climate finance qualified or partially climate finance qualified and the type of climate finance (adaptation, mitigation or both). We define climate finance using the multilateral development bank (MDB) and the International Development Finance Club (IDFC) Common Principles climate finance methodology. See Common Principles for Climate Mitigation Finance Tracking and Common Principles for Climate Change Adaptation Finance Tracking. We provide the climate finance qualification and type for commitments from 2020 onwards, which is when we launched our Climate Change Strategy.

    :
    Fully qualified
    Climate finance type:
    Adaptation

Subscribe to receive our latest news and updates