AgFunder: Israeli agtech market important to watch

25-03-2019 | |
Photo: ANP
Photo: ANP

Between 2014 and 2018, a total of $?759 million was invested in Israeli agrifood tech start-ups.

That can be read in the inaugural Israel AgriFood Tech Startup Investing Report by AgFunder and Start-Up Nation Central.

In the 5-year review of Israeli agrifood tech startup investment activity between 2014 and 2018, $ 759 million of investment across 278 deals are detailed.

Israeli start-up market important to watch

“While the totals may appear low next to the $ 17bn invested globally in agrifood tech in 2018, for a country the size of the US state of New Jersey, these figures are impressive. There are many macro and micro reasons for this level of innovation, and the outsized traction Israeli start-ups get on the world stage, making it an important market to watch,” states the report.

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On-farm solutions tailored for farmer ease-of-use

According to AgFunder and Start-Up Nation Central, a combination of farming background, world-class agronomic institutions, experience with modern military–grade data, imaging, and aerial technologies all drive Israel’s agrifood tech scene. “Many company founders grew up on a kibbutz (pioneer farming communes), endowing experience that leads to on-farm solutions tailored for farmer ease-of-use, and to networks for facilitating trials.”

Edge in agricultural innovation

The report continues: “It is for these reasons that Israel has naturally had an edge in agricultural innovation – and has produced some of agtech’s most mature and hi-tech farm technologies. Now the country is starting to produce leading food technologies, with particular strength in cultured meat and novel ingredients.”

Because tech is a major export item, essential to the national economy especially in lieu of natural resources, the Israeli government invests in incubator programs and trials, in partnership with Israeli VCs, food corporates, academic institutions, and farmers.

Key insights from the report include:

  • nearly $ 1 billion of exits across the supply chain
  • a dominance in upstream technologies, particularly Farm Management Software, Sensing & IoT that raised $ 208m during the period.
  • an active early-stage investment community, particularly the country’s connected angel investor network
  • 82% year-over-year growth in investment downstream, particularly retail technologies
  • active strategic investment from global tech players and agribusinesses

Also read: AgFunder presents 12 agtech start-ups to watch

Hugo Claver Web editor for Future Farming
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