IvyCap and Thomson Reuters Team up to Take Award-Winning RML Service for Farmers in India to the Next Level

Mumbai - 25 February 2013

Amit Mehra, Founder and MD of Reuters Market Light, will continue to be the CEO

Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, and IvyCap Ventures Advisors Private Limited (IvyCap), a venture capital fund management company, today announced that the two firms have come together to support the continued development of Reuters Market Light (RML), the award-winning information service for India’s farming community. The agreement sees IvyCap, which is backed by the IIT Alumni Network, become the lead investor in RML with Thomson Reuters remaining as a shareholder and partner in the newly formed RML Information Services Private Limited.

Amit Mehra, founder and managing director of RML, will continue to be the CEO of RML Information Services Private Limited and provide management continuity for the business.

RML supports both companies’ aims to deliver innovative services that support the development of the local communities they serve. Established in 2007, Reuters Market Light pioneered the multi-award winning service that provides agricultural, weather, market price and crop information over mobile phones to the farming community. Today, RML has reached more than 1 million unique subscribers across an estimated 50,000 villages and 17 states. Through sharing, it is estimated to have reached nearly 5 million farmers. RML has been recognized nationally and internationally for its positive contribution to India’s farming community and named by the United Nations in 2008 as one of the initiatives that has the potential to contribute to the Millennium Development Goals.

“We are very excited by the uniqueness of the RML business model and its growth potential due to innovation in the agriculture information and technology space,” said Vikram Gupta, founder and managing partner, IvyCap Ventures. “We are also looking forward to adding significant value through our network of relationships across the value chain of RML.”

“Thomson Reuters believes it can do well by ‘doing good’ in the communities it serves and initiatives like RML, plus our work on supporting property rights and access to justice underscore this commitment,” said Shanker Ramamurthy, president of Global Growth & Operations, Thomson Reuters. “We incubated and brought RML to India’s agricultural community at a time when farmers had little or no visibility into the market prices of their crops and this has changed the agricultural landscape. Thomson Reuters is pleased to join forces with IvyCap to provide the additional focus, expertise and investment needed to deliver the RML service that benefits thousands of rural farmers each day.”

Terms and conditions of the transaction were not disclosed.

IvyCap invests in start-ups and growth stage companies across sectors including agriculture, education, energy, healthcare and technology. The company’s industry experience and network in the technology industry in particular, will help RML strengthen its product offering for the agricultural and rural markets. The company has a unique philosophy to give back part of its profits to the leading educational institutions, an approach that strengthens its alumni networks further.

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