MARKET ANALYSIS

AGRIFOOD INVESTMENTS REACH ALL-TIME HIGH IN COVID-19 ERA

Ag-tech and foodtech investments totaled $2.2 billion and $4.8 billion respectively during the first two quarters of 2020, a time period of great uncertainty for both start-ups and venture capitalists due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, according to a new report from agrifood venture pioneer Finistere Ventures.

Animal tech emerged as an important new ag-tech category, capturing approximately 7% of funding in the first two quarters of 2020. Continued growth is likely.

“While the start of the year provided a massive infusion of capital, ag-tech companies are likely to face a turbulent outlook for 2021. Investments in meal kits and delivery start-ups continued to lead the foodtech sector in the mid-year report.

Alternative proteins including plant-based proteins and cellular agriculture captured 22.6% of foodtech funding, displacing ecommerce for the second-place spot. Investments in alternative meats reached $930 million in the first quarter of 2020, an 11% increase over all of the funding in 2019.

“The foodtech sector, while challenged in foodservice, has some promising tailwinds. In particular, meal solutions and e-commerce grocery startups are benefiting from the move to dining at home. We expect there will be lasting and persistent changes to consumer behavior in at-home consumption; retaining these customers and growing margins will be key to future funding rounds,” added Kukutai.