Major trends in agtech for 2018


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. In collaboration with PitchBook, Finistere quantified this activity — 2017 was another record investment year for the sector, with more than $1.5 billion deployed.



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