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Agri-tech market contraction drives shift to resilience, sustainability and tech integration

Venture capital investment experienced a significant contraction in 2023 as global business underwent a period of turbulence. According to PitchBook data, the agri-tech sector followed this pattern, with investments decreasing from $11.8 billion in 2022 to $7.1 billion last year, a reduction of 40%. Indoor farming was one area where this fall was particularly severe, falling from $2 billion to under $500 million.

The early signs show that the market contraction has sown the seeds for robust M&A activity in 2024. In reaction to the downward trend, startups have been forced to create more sustainable business models. On top of this, tech companies are new entrants to the market, enticed by the critical role of data in agriculture and the need to transform the industry in response to growing environmental concerns.

According to Ali Al Suhail, Vice President at DAI Magister, the stark devaluation of agri-tech firms means that both venture-backed and early-stage startups will continue to suffer in 2024. As alternative routes to growth, these firms must shift their focus to seeking new partnerships or attracting acquisitions.

Al Suhail said: "In order to attract the right buyer, agri-tech firms need to consolidate their messaging to crystalize the distinct challenges and opportunities within the sector. Precision farming firms, for example, could emphasize technological synergies to attract tech buyers. Other firms within the sector might focus on a different set of buyers. Looking at fintech solutions for farmers, those firms will need to draw in investors by showcasing fund management capabilities.


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