Backed by both the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) and the OCP Group, the Fund will invest an initial capital of $50 million over the next 5 years to back founders building technologies to sustainably feed a growing population

BIDRA (Arabic for “seed”) is a new fund specialized in identifying, nurturing and empowering bold, innovative solutions in agriculture around the globe. Launched with the support of Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) and OCP Group, the world’s leader in the phosphate fertilizer market, BIDRA places its mission at the center of the global effort to sustainably feed the world’s growing population.

Based in San Francisco, United States, BIDRA will be initially equipped with 50 million Dollars to be invested over a period of 3 to 5 years. Bidra is a stand-alone fund operating independently whereby BIDRA’s leadership is empowered to make investment decisions. The Fund is scheduled to begin operating as of April 1 2022. BIDRA’s ambition is to have a tangible impact on agriculture by focusing on farmer solutions. In doing so, the Fund will cover areas such as crop inputs, digital agriculture services, and agri-marketplaces.

In partnering with the most promising entrepreneurs in agriculture and alliances with innovative ventures, BIDRA will prioritize disruptive, scalable start-ups and empower them to benefit from the stimulating environment, cutting-edge know-how, market access, established brand and historic experience of UM6P and OCP GROUP. Leveraging such a value proposition has the potential of significantly shaping the direction of future digital solutions.

“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 at the bleeding-edge in agriculture. Equally grateful I am to have industry stalwarts like 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, President, BIDRA INNOVATION VENTURES.

Mr Hicham El Habti, President, UM6P and Board Chair, BIDRA added: “UM6P is dedicated to research and innovation 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 startups and the agricultural innovation ecosystem at large as key catalysts to achieving our objective to contribute to the transformation of agriculture towards more sustainability.”

As a partner, UM6P and OCP will be committed stakeholders to startups, capable of delivering strategic value and supporting scaling-up, with significant on-the-ground presence globally. BIDRA will have access to a network of relays in numerous geographies and will be able to leverage MOHAMMED VI POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY’s innovation ecosystem.


ABOUT MOHAMMED VI POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY (UM6P) 

The UM6P is a hub of education, research, innovation and entrepreneurship, aspiring to become a solid bridge of knowledge between Morocco, Africa and the world. Located in the “Mohammed VI Green City” in Benguerir, near Marrakech, with branches in Rabat and Laayoune, UM6P applies a “learning by doing” approach and develops sound partnerships with world-wide class universities, to promote leadership and training in focused research areas. By contributing to the training of a new generation of researchers, entrepreneurs and leaders, UM6P is committed to positioning Morocco and Africa at the forefront of technology and human Sciences.


ABOUT OCP GROUP

The OCP Group helps feed a growing world population by providing it with essential elements for soil fertility and plant growth. With a century of expertise and a turnover of 9.4 billion dollars in 2021, the OCP Group is the world leader in the plant nutrition and phosphate fertilizers market. The Group offers a wide range of specialty phosphate fertilizers, adapted to enrich the soil, increase agricultural yields and nourish the soil to feed the planet economically and sustainably. Based in Morocco, and present on 5 continents, the OCP Group works closely with more than 350 clients around the world. Committed to best serving the environmental and social development of Africa, the OCP Group places innovation at the heart of its strategy, in particular for the establishment of sustainable and prosperous agriculture on the continent. The Group is firmly convinced that leadership and profitability go hand in hand with social responsibility and sustainable development. Its strategic vision is at the intersection of those two dimensions.