Halfway through the year, 2021 is shaping up to be another record year for AgTech venture capital investments, writes Kyle Welborn at CropLife. So far, just over $4.3B has been invested in the sector across 263 deals. In all of 2020, $5.15B was invested in this sector. If this pace holds, the 2021 investment total will be 70% higher than last year. In addition to increasing investment dollars, the number of deals completed is also on pace to increase 25% over last year.
Of these deals, 60% were in early-stage startups (companies that have raised less than $10M in capital), 24% were in emerging stage startups (companies that have raised between $10M – $50M in capital), and 16% were in later stage startups (companies which have raised more than $50M in capital). The high percentage of early-stage deals represents a bounce back from last year’s slowdown driven by Covid-19 when many venture capitalists focused on follow-on investments in their existing portfolio companies.
Here is a breakout of how much venture capital was raised in each AgTech sector, as well as some of the startups that raised the largest rounds of financing.
Value Chain & Logistics
There was a total of 83 startups focused on the value chain and logistics that raised capital, representing 36% of the AgTech dollars invested so far in 2021. Food waste continues to be the highest area of focus in this category. However, robotic harvesting is starting to attract the attention of investors.
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The three largest deals in this category include a $330M round for Dingdong Maicai, a Chinese fresh vegetable e-commerce platform, a $200M round for Misfits Market, a subscription box service for organically sourced produce, and a $157M round for BayoTech, an energy solutions company with technology for the modular production of hydrogen and fertilizer.