In 2018, European food tech and agtech startups raised $?1.6 billion in funding across 421 deals.
While this was on par with the total in 2017, there was 23% growth in the number of deals and the majority of activity took place at the earliest stages, according to the Europe AgriFood Tech Funding Report released by AgFunder in collaboration with F&A Next.
2018 also saw a 200% increase in funding to upstream startups – those operating closer to the farm or in the supply chain before the retailer. Upstream innovation is rapidly picking up steam in Europe, particularly in farm software and sensing technologies, as well as robotics and novel farming systems.
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Good news shared by @iamlbt from @AgFunder … Don't pay attention to the 2018 investment figures for #AgTech. Upstream #AgTech startups are more and more backed by #Venturecapital funds and now take the lead. @fa_next pic.twitter.com/jIf9B8Y4iE
— Cédric LOMBARD (@LombardCedric) 16 May 2019
The investor base supporting agrifood innovation is varied with only a few dedicated sector funds, but it’s growing and 603 unique investors made investments during the year.
“Indeed, more multistage investors are entering the Agrifood space, and in our programs we have been (fore) seeing and driving the trend for more high quality agtech startups,” says Jan Meiling from StartLife, a founder of F&A Next.
“The European food tech ecosystem lags other markets today. However, we have every reason to believe that a healthy funnel of promising earlier stage companies, growing investor activity and availability of corporate venture capital will close the gap rather sooner than later,” says Jeroen Leffelaar from Rabobank, another F&A Next founder.