Prosus Ventures, the arm of Prosus that invests in entrepreneurs in high-growth markets, announced on July 5 and 11, respectively, that it would co-lead funding Singaporian Cybersecurity start-up watchTowr, and lead funding for India’s leading b-to-b marketplace Vegrow.

WatchTowr secured $8 million U.S., led by Prosus Ventures and Vulcan Capital, with support from repeat investor WaveMaker Partners. WatchTowr previously received $2.25 million U.S. in Nov. 2021 from Vulcan and WaveMaker.

 “This round gives us all the fuel we need to double down on our mission and continue pushing the boundaries of our Attack Surface Management technology,” said founder and CEO Benjamin Harris (LinkedIn profile).  The investment will also allow watchTowr to seize opportunities in markets outside of Southeast Asia.

Embroker, a business insurance company, indicates that cybercrime is up 600%, in part due to the Covid-19 pandemic, prompting nearly every industry to tighten its cyber security.

Prosus Ventures’ investment in India’s Vegrow is valued at $25 million U.S. The funding is led by Prosus Ventures and supported by Matrix Partners India, Elevation Capital, Lightspeed and Ankur Capital. Prominent angel and agriculture veteran Sanjiv Rangrass also continue to support the company.

Vegrow’s b-to-b e-commerce business focuses on matchmaking across multiple channels. It connects more than 400 production pockets through 20,000+ farmers with demand from over 100 Indian cities. The company’s tech and data align with market expectations, and the company has grown 15-fold in the last year.

This is not the group’s first agriculture tech investment of its kind. Prosus invested in DeHaat, a technology company which offers end-to-end agricultural services to farmers in India. Similarly, Naspers, which forms part of Prosus, recently invested in Nile, a South African b-to-b e-commerce business which enables direct trade of fresh produce in SADC between producers and sellers, and facilitates price detection, quality confirmation, payments and traceability.

Agricultural economist and managing director of AMT (Agricultural Market Trend Analysis), Dr Johnny van der Merwe, commented on the significance of Prosus’ involvement: “It is a very good sign when large companies invest in Agritech, and that they are realizing the importance of food security, and want to help ensure food are available to all. It is essential to improve the value chains of food to get food from the market to the end-user quicker.”

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