Venture capital flowed into both ag tech and food tech investments during the first three quarters of this year, according to a new report out today from Finestere Ventures.
Created in collaboration with PitchBook, the report found that AgriFood tech startups raised a total of $11.6 billion as of the end of Q3 2020. AgTech investment totaled $3.07 billion during that time (up from $2.7 billion invested in all of 2019), and food tech investment totaled $8.37 billion through Q3 (up from $7 billion in all of 2019). Finestere said that the majority of capital invested in both sectors went to later stage deals, illustrating market maturation.
Like everything else in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic was a big influence on where investments flowed. Finistere said in its report that indoor farming was a big beneficiary of funding as demand for fresh produce increased along with insecurities around food supply chains. On the food tech side, the pandemic spurred investment in startups in e-commerce delivery and meal kits.
Finestere’s analysis correlates with the more general back-of-the-envelope-style tracking we at The Spoon have been doing around food tech investment. Just between May and June we tracked more than $699 million in funding announcements from food and ag tech companies. More recently, we reported on nearly $1 billion in food tech funding just in the month of October.
“With more than $46B of venture capital flowing into ag and food advances over the past decade, AgriFood tech has become a focus of tremendous investor interest. As COVID shone a light on some of our food and agricultural production system fragilities that need strengthening, capital flowed in to support the trend to dine at home,” Arama Kukutai, co-founder and partner, Finistere Ventures said in the press announcement. “While substantial progress has been made, there is still a long way to go. The investment trend we are seeing is long overdue in a massive sector that has been under-invested, and there is a lot of room for further growth. Building a sustainable ag and food ecosystem is absolutely critical, and it will take a lot of time and more capital.”