AgriFood Tech Investment Continues to Climb Amid Pandemic
by Arama Kukutai (Cofounder and Partner) and Ingrid Fung (Investment Director).
Despite the current political climate and economic uncertainty brought on by COVID-19, growth in the AgriFood Tech sector has been remarkably strong in 2020. At the onset of the pandemic, we saw investors rush to deploy capital into portfolio companies to extend runway beyond the COVID window. This year has already been a record-breaker for the AgriFood Tech sector -as of the end of Q3, AgriFood tech startups raised $11.6B in funding in 2020, bringing the investment total from 2010 through Q3 2020 up to $46.4B. Let’s unpack the data.
The pandemic has seen consumers and investors alike become acutely aware of supply chain and challenges in food production. On the farm, notwithstanding a pragmatic attitude among producers attention has also been focused on worker safety, and disruption to everyday work especially in crops where workers are in close proximity – automation is very much on the agenda, as are areas like Indoor farming. Meanwhile mainstays like crop protection continued to bring in new capital, and animal health also saw an uptick.
AgTech investment totaled $3.07B in the first three quarters of 2020, already overtaking 2019 total of $2.7B. While investment in Q3 2020 dropped to $825.8M, down from a quarter-high mark of $1.57B in Q2, the sector continues to show consistent growth year on year. Q3 2020 represents the second strongest quarter for AgTech investment since 2010, in comparison Q3 2019 saw only $758.5M in capital deployed.