Orkla Group, the parent company of MTR Foods, has Rs 50-crore venture fund set with an aim to make early-stage investments in startups. The fund, christened MTR Seed Fund, will invest mainly in food tech-related startups in India over 2017 and 2018. It is the first such fund set up by the Orkla Group outside of Scandinavia.
The company is also open to acquiring a startup that might complement its current business in India or one that might have the potential to become a global product that can strengthen the company's position in any of the markets it is present in.
The company plans to target the millennial population as against MTR Foods, which earlier focused mainly on homemakers. In April, MTR Foods launched a three-minute breakfast category that targets millennials, enabling them to have a quick on-the-go Indian breakfast ranging from poha to upma, and oats.
The company will invest and have a stake ranging between 26 per cent and 49 per cent in the startups. Startups that become part of the MTR Seed Fund will have access to MTR Foods research and discussion team, as well as to the company's in-house group of chefs if the product is food-based or common services such as branding, legal assistance, treasury and accounting services.
MTR senior management will review food tech and other startups before finalising the first investment.