- Coincidentally, the agtech investment landscape has exploded over the last decade, from a niche, opportunistic clade of the venture capital investment class, to a legitimate asset class attracting focused and generalist funds with dedicated agtech investment allocations.
- 2018 will likely see a new record in agtech dollars raised, but with larger round sizes, as strong syndication with top-quality investors on both the West and East coasts continues to differentiate true winners from the mere adequate teams in this exploding tech market.
- Meanwhile, the EU is building a strong pipeline, joined by Latin America and Australia/New Zealand, which have significant R&D public investment and are seeing the rise of “tweener” rounds (beyond seed, pre-Series A) where non-dilutive and angel capital is allowing startups to advance in capital-efficient models.
- Interest in discrete markets and technologies for agtech will continue as farm management adopts a data-driven agronomy, encompassing imagery, sensors and artificial intelligence platforms driving an evolution from precision to “predictive” agriculture.
- Corporate venture capital activity in the sector has expanded, with more than 30 active funds, joining the agtech-focused funds like Khosla, Fall Line, Finistere, Innovation Endeavors and S2G, among others.
- The disruption over the last decade in the retail food value chain gained momentum in 2017 with the IPO of Blue Apron, and acquisitions such as Bai Brands ($1.7 billion), Sir Kensington Condiments and Whole Foods by Amazon ($13.7 billion).
- In collaboration with PitchBook, Finistere quantified this activity — 2017 was another record investment year for the sector, with more than $1.5 billion deployed.