The parent company of MTR Foods, Orkla Group has set up an venture fund Rs.50-crore with an aim to make early-stage investments in startups. The fund, named 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.

Commenting on the development, Peter A Ruzicka, president of Orkla Group, told ET, “We are mainly looking at early stage startups, these could be tech startups that fit with our current business or startups in sectors that focus on creating innovative food products, production tech, packaging technology or distribution."

Not only this, the firm 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 which can strengthen the company's position in any of the markets it is present in.

“We have a long-term approach, so we may invest in one to 20 startups.Depends on what we find attractive, we may acquire a startup or sell to a private equity fund as an exit strategy," added Ruzicka.

The company will invest and have a stake ranging between 26% and 49% 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, reports ET.

Before finalizing the investment, MTR senior management will review food tech and other startups.

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.

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