Venture capital investors pumped $51.7 billion into agrifoodtech startups worldwide in 2021, according to the latest edition of the annual AgFunder Agrifoodtech Investment Report, released today. That represents an 85% increase over 2020’s $27.8 billion total, indicating the accelerating — and increasingly urgent — demand from investors and consumers for technologies that can enable more sustainable and resilient food systems.
Startups in upstream categories — covering farming and food production technologies and solutions between the farm or the lab and the retail level — secured a total of $18.2 billion across 1,846 deals. Meanwhile, downstream ventures — those that have a direct touchpoint with consumers — netted $32.1 billion across 1,241 deals, according to the AgFunder Agrifoodtech Investment Report.
Digging down, it was agrifoodtech categories that took off in response to the Covid-19 pandemic that remained the most popular with investors; in many cases, they saw an uptick in dealmaking activity. Investments into eGrocery ventures grew an astounding 188% year-on-year, laying claim to more than a third of all agrifoodtech funding. The category was fueled by companies raising multiple eight, nine, and 10-digit US dollar rounds as the trend towards ‘contactless’ shopping and convenience continued.
In geographical terms, the US remains the world’s single largest market for agrifoodtech venture funding, with US-based startups raising 41% of all invested capital and accounting for 34% of global deals in 2021.
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