Signify (Euronext: LIGHT), the world leader in lighting, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with ams OSRAM (SIX: AMS) to acquire Austin, Texas-based Fluence for USD 272 million (EUR 242 million) on a cash and debt-free basis. This acquisition will strengthen our global Agriculture lighting growth platform and extend our position in the attractive North American horticultural lighting market.
The acquisition is fully in line with our strategy to expand in attractive growth segments and our commitment to improving food availability by providing growers with horticultural lighting that helps them to reduce resource consumption and increase yields. We expect the global market for agricultural lighting to grow by more than 20% per year to EUR 1.6 billion in 2024.
The acquisition will add Fluence’s complementary horticultural lighting technology to our existing knowledge and expertise. This includes light recipes for the legal growing of cannabis1 – which, due to the legalization in Canada and many US states in recent years, currently generates the majority of Fluence’s sales – and light recipes for the company’s fast-growing business to grow other crops. Fluence’s technology also includes more than 140 issued and pending patents, focusing on areas such as light quality, thermal management and installation methods. Currently Fluence generates a majority of its sales in North America.
“We’re excited to announce that we’re acquiring Fluence, strengthening our agricultural lighting business, one of our main growth platforms. It also further underlines the strategic importance of the North American market to our business,” said Harsh Chitale, Division Leader Digital Solutions at Signify. “We’re looking forward to welcoming the team from Fluence. Its lighting innovations and solid go-to-market strategy have helped build a recognized brand with a strong position in North America and a fast-growing business in Europe. We feel that now is the right moment to join forces, allowing both of us to serve more customers with high-quality horticulture lighting products.”
“Since Fluence’s founding, it has been our sole mission to improve the interaction between light and life to yield a healthier and more sustainable world. Adding our lighting solutions to Signify’s strong portfolio empowers our combined businesses to deliver the world’s most advanced horticulture technology to cultivators on a global scale,” said David Cohen, CEO of Fluence. “The combination of our companies will immediately expand our collective footprints and inject valuable expertise into both companies’ product innovations. We look forward to uniting with the Signify team.”
Fluence employs more than 200 people. In the trailing 12 months (October 2020 to September 2021), Fluence generated USD 141 million (EUR 124 million) in revenue. Fluence will operate as an entity within Signify’s agricultural lighting business in Division Digital Solutions.
The acquisition is expected to close in the first half of 2022, subject to regulatory approvals and other conditions.
¹ Signify and Fluence share a similar policy to only provide lighting products for the cannabis industry to growers that are legally permitted to do so, including markets that permit growing for recreational use. Fluence abides by and respects local laws and does not provide lighting for cannabis production in geographies in which it is not permitted.
Otipy, India’s fastest growing community group buying startup for fresh fruits and vegetables, today announced partnership with Haryana govt to procure 10,000 tonnes of fresh produce in 2022, from Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs).
Varun Khurana, Founder and CEO, says “At Otipy, we move 80-100 tonnes of produce everyday from farms to consumers in NCR, and Haryana is a major procurement zone. We have signed an MoU with Haryana Government promoted FPOs and will be procuring at least 10,000 tonnes from 600+ FPOs (farmer producer organisations) in Haryana in 2022. This will also help increase farmer’s incomes which is in line with the Government’s strategic initiatives.”
Deepak Tewari, VP – Sourcing for Otipy said “We have been working with several FPOs in Haryana across various farm clusters and have had a great symbiotic relationship. Haryana is a major sourcing belt due to its proximity to NCR, that helps us serve fresh harvested produce to consumers. We plan to further build on these relationships.”
Otipy’s digital system ensures that farmers have complete transparency in terms of Price, Quantity and Quality. Additionally, Otipy ensures that price realisation to farmers is higher when compared with the traditional Mandi system. Otipy directly works with farmers and helps them in planning better crop cycles to realize more value from the market.
Naveen Antil, Director Khewra FPO Sonepat, said “We have been working with Otipy since last 2 years, Otipy was our first customer since inception. We have also been part of the growth journey of Otipy and farmers in our FPO have been immensely benefited from the transparent practices of Otipy in the last two years“.
Otipy provides service to more than 4 Lakh consumers in Delhi NCR leveraging its 20,000+ community leader network. Otipy procures its produce from more than 10,000 farmers across Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra. Leveraging its unique prediction-based model, Otipy has been able to decrease food wastage in the supply chain from 40% down to just 3%.
Gurugram-based Veddis Foundation has renewed its partnership with the Haryana State Rural Livelihood Mission (HSRLM) to improve the livelihoods of an additional 80,000 rural households across 26 blocks in 4 districts over the next 2 years. Veddis Foundation will help enable effective governance of the SRLM programme. The partnership with the Haryana government is part of Veddis Foundation’s GATI [गति] (Governance for policy Action, Transformation and Innovation) initiative and is the second investment under Veddis Foundation’s 100 crore commitment to accelerate large-scale social impact.
Since its partnership with the Haryana State Rural Livelihood Mission began 3 years ago, Veddis Foundation has helped transform 7,000 community institutions across 7 districts in the state. Social and economic indicators were significantly impacted as nearly 100,000 households have an annual incremental income of over Rs. 60,000. Veddis Foundation will now replicate the success of the partnership to an additional 4 districts – Charkhi Dadri, Mahendragarh, Kaithal and Rewari – targeting over 80,000 rural households.
The partnership with the HSRLM will create financially sustainable and effective institutional platforms for rural households. The goal is to increase household income through sustainable livelihood enhancements, as well as better access to financial and public services. This will involve building up capacities of critical institutions under HSRLM. Targeted outcomes for the programme include the development of model Cluster Level Federations (CLFs), enhanced access to funds for Self Help Groups (SHGs), increased income levels of marginalised families through diversified interventions, convergence with other government programmes, subsidies, and schemes, and value chain development. Technology will be the enabler for data driven governance.
“We are happy to see our partnership with HSRLM over the last 3 years has resulted in a meaningful impact across 100,000 rural households. We partnered with the HSRLM in November 2018 to improve governance in 31 CLFs across 7 districts in the state. Our focus has been on unlocking public funds, along with increased access to these funds for creating better livelihood opportunities” said Vaishali Samanta, COO of Veddis Foundation, commenting on the partnership. “We are significantly scaling our investments in policy implementation as part of our 100 cr commitment and look forward to an impactful partnership with the state of Haryana.”
Speaking on the engagement with Veddis Foundation, Dr. Amarinder Kaur, CEO HSRLM, remarked “This partnership will help us facilitate efforts to reach out to rural communities and empower them with the appropriate skills to ensure sustainable livelihoods. Veddis Foundation has been a strong partner in our efforts and we hope to replicate the impact in other districts”
Veddis Foundation has earlier partnered with other State Rural Livelihood Missions. The first partnership was with the Rajasthan Grameen Aajeevika Vikas Parishad (RGAVP) from 2016 to 2018 and resulted in a 50%+ increase in income for 1,60,000 rural households across 10 districts in Rajasthan. They also recently partnered with Himachal Pradesh state Rural Livelihood Mission (HPSRLM) to support the livelihoods of 50,000 rural households across 5 districts.
DeHaat is pleased to announce that Rohit Sareen has joined the organization as Senior Vice President – Agri Output. An ex-banker turned agri-entrepreneur with strong interest in sustainable food solutions, Rohit has been the founding member of multiple agri-ventures, latest of which was FreshMantra Pvt. Ltd., a fully integrated provider of ‘Seed to Plate’, eco-friendly agricultural produce & food solutions. He was working with 8500+ farmers to create a strong food safety network & build an efficient advisory ecosystem across key agricultural pockets of India. Prior to his movement in the agri domain, Rohit spent 14 years working in investment management, building businesses in consumer banking, trade finance and strategy in the banking domain with renowned organizations such as Bank of America, Merrill Lynch International, Citibank Singapore & Citi India.
“DeHaat has a rich history of serving the farmer community,” said Rohit. “I had been following DeHaat for many years and was impressed by their farmer first, tech enabled & entrepreneur friendly ecosystem. I am excited to be part of this organization and look forward to contribute towards enhancing the food safety aspect of agricultural produce through sustainable & viable practices.”
The kind of leadership skills that Rohit will bring will enhance DeHaat’s in-house knowledge in building AI-enabled technologies to revolutionize supply chain and production efficiency in the farm sector.
Adarsh Srivastav, Co-founder & Director, DeHaat, said, “We are excited and grateful to have Rohit in our team. His vision to build a sustainable food value chain, from farmers to consumers, coupled with his entrepreneurial mindset & effective leadership style will be key to the continued success of our output business”. “We are keen to collaborate with similar passionate entrepreneurs and work towards our objective of creating a complete ‘Farm-to-Fork’ journey of every crop grown in the country”, he added.
Rohit added, “Through my experience at FreshMantra, I hope to significantly improve DeHaat’s operational excellence by enhancing scale and automation in newer geographies – both within India & abroad. I have constantly been working on creating opportunities for business growth & learning in the agriculture space. With DeHaat’s current network of farmers, institutional buyers, and micro-entrepreneurs, I aim to support the farming community through this business footprint.”
Smartchem Technologies Limited (STL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Deepak Fertilisers And Petrochemicals Corporation Limited (DFPCL), today announced the formal launch of its innovative fertilizer – ‘CROPTEK’ for onion growers under its flagship brand Mahadhan. STL is one of India’s leading manufacturers of Nitro-Phosphate Fertiliser and Bentonite Sulphur and the market leader in the water-soluble and speciality fertilizer category.
‘Mahadhan Croptek’ is the foremost brand for onion progressive farmers who use secondary nutrients and micronutrients in Maharashtra and Karnataka. It is the first and unique crop-specific crop nutrition solution having essential primary, secondary and micronutrients required by the onion crop.
Due to intensive cultivation practices post green revolution, year after year the deficiency of primary, secondary and micronutrients have grown many folds, making the soils non-sustainable. The situation calls for a scientific approach and sincere efforts to change it for the better. STL did several surveys to understand this issue of low yield due to older technology and low uptake of nutrients and came out with a very innovative approach to address it.
‘Mahadhan Croptek’ means ‘Crop Technology’ and refers to the innovative ‘single granule complete solution’ technology being introduced by Mahadhan in India with Mahadhan’s Nutrient Unlock Technology which unlocks nutrients from single granules of Mahadhan Croptek and improves their uptake into the Onion Crop. Mahadhan Croptek is thus a Giant Leap in Crop Nutrition Technology in India.
The idea was conceptualized about 5 years back followed by series of trials across various locations. The product was extensively tested in the fields of more than 450 farmers for over 3 cropping seasons since 2019.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, Chief Guest Mr. Dilip Zende, Director of Agriculture (I&QC), Pune said, “It is encouraging to note that Mahadhan brand has been transforming the lives of the farmers and is among the most respected companies by the Indian farmers. A major concern for onion farmers is stagnant onion yield and the rising cost of production. Innovative solutions in Agribusiness are a boon to the farmers in rural India. In the happiness of farmers lies the joy of every citizen and I congratulate makers of Mahadhan brand for providing the innovative ‘Mahadhan Croptek’ fertilizer to the farming community.”
With a strong R&D base, STL has been addressing the needs of the markets through differentiated value-added consumer-centric products and innovative solutions to the farming community. Throughout the journey, the brand has maintained its grass-roots touch and lived up to its motto, “A Bond of Life”.
Speaking at the launch event, onion farmer Mr. Nikhil Kadam from Sastewadi, Baramati, Pune attested to the efficacy of the solution, saying to his fellow 200+ farmers and dealers present, “‘Ek Daane Me Sab Kuch’ I did not believe that such a solution was possible in India. This has truly been an eye opener for me, and the product works. It saved me money, time, and increased my yield by more than 10% over the last season while trying the product on my farm. I have no hesitation in recommending it to every tech-savvy Onion Farmer in India.”
Announcing the launch Mr. Mahesh Girdhar, (President – Agri-Business, STL) said, “Due to highly imbalanced and non-judicious use of chemical fertilizers and continuous deterioration of soil health, now there is an urgent need to develop and implement solutions and practices which are sustainable and can bring balance in macro and micronutrients usage, improve nutrient use efficiency, and conserve the soil health. We aim to make India’s farmers globally competitive. Farmers are unaware of the scientifically recommended dose of nutrients, hence they tend to apply imbalanced fertilizers. ‘Mahadhan Croptek’ will address these challenges by providing a balanced nutrition solution with precise dosage for the onion crop.”
In the highly homogenized fertilizer market, Mahadhan has been recognized for its consistent quality and the ability to innovate and create differentiated products. The innovative solution is expected to help farmers in their complex decision making at the time of fertilizer and dosage selection to meet the Recommended Dose of Fertilizers (RDF) otherwise, farmers are forced to buy several fertilizers to meet their RDF requirements which often leads to increase in the spends on fertilizer.
“Mahadhan Croptek’ is expected to give farmers a higher price during the offseason, hence better storability will add economic value to them. With the innovative solution, the farmers should now get ready for more number of A and B grade bulbs, higher yield and better storability” said Dr. K. E. Lawande, Ex Vice Chancellor BSKKV, Dapoli.
Mr. Naresh Deshmukh, EVP & Head – Sales & Marketing (CNB), STL assured that the company would ensure regular supply of ‘Mahadhan Croptek’ through its extensive marketing network of dealers and sub-dealers. He said “The company has geared up for aggressive and extensive marketing of the fertilizers as it wants to ensure each onion grower should get it timely and in adequate quantity. It will be available in smaller packs of 40 Kg to avoid the serious ergonomic and transportation-related issues often faced by our farmers.”
Over 150 dealers, 50 progressive onion farmers from key onion growing districts witnessed the ‘Mahadhan Croptek’ launch.