The Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) and the OCP Group, an international chemical manufacturing company, have officially announced the launch of a fund that will invest an initial capital of $50 million over the next five years. This is to support innovators developing technology to feed a growing population sustainably.
Called the Bidra Fund (“bidra” is the Arabic word for “seed”), the Moroccan university’s new fund focuses on identifying, nurturing and empowering bold and innovative solutions in agriculture globally.
“UM6P is dedicated to research and brings together a full innovation ecosystem comprised of the best researchers, first-class international academic and innovation partnerships, as well as several laboratories and capabilities to test and improve new technologies. We see Bidra’s partnerships with start-ups and the agricultural innovation ecosystem at large, as key catalysts to achieving our objective to contribute to the transformation of agriculture towards greater sustainability,” said Hicham El Habti, president of UM6P and Bidra’s board chairperson.
A force to be reckoned with
Bidra, based in San Francisco, California, will begin with a capital investment of $50 million over the next five years. Bidra is a stand-alone fund that operates independently and has the authority to make investment decisions. The fund officially started operating from 1 April 2022. By focusing on farmer solutions, Bidra hopes to have a tangible impact on agriculture. Crop inputs, digital agricultural services, and agri-market solutions will all be covered by the fund.
“I am thrilled to join Bidra at the most critical time in our industry. I’m thankful for UM6P’s initiative and their conviction in backing founders and technologies in agriculture. I’m equally grateful to have an industry stalwart like the OCP Group as a backer. Having UM6P and OCP as sole investors, ensures Bidra has the backing of patient capital and access to unparalleled resources,” said Amar Singh, the president of Bidra Innovation Ventures.
Bidra will prioritise disruptive, scalable start-ups and empower them to benefit from the stimulating environment, cutting-edge know-how, market access and the combined experience of UM6P and the OCP Group. This will be achieved by partnering with the most promising agricultural entrepreneurs and forming alliances with innovative ventures.