Farming has been around for many millennia, but agricultural technology, commonly known as AgriTech has exploded over the past few years and venture capital investment in this area is growing exponentially.
“It’s a new field,” Poornima Parameswaran, co-founder of Trace Genomics said, “exciting because you are creating new tools and applications.”
According to Crunchbase, venture capital investment in AgriTech startups reached over $4 billion in both 2018 and 2019, with much of the innovation in the AgriTech space driven by global sustainability needs. In March 2021, the Financial Times commented on the increasing presence of AgriTech companies in public markets, due to this same interest in sustainability and green investing. Beyond early-stage and venture capital investments, stock-market listings in the food and AgriTech industries grew to $31 billion in 2020, an eight-fold increase of the equivalent figure for 2019.
In a recent article for Forbes, Connie Bowen, co-founder of the Yield Lab Institute said “Agriculture faces perhaps the most challenges moving forward, but it also offers the most potential for innovation to address these global challenges. Agtech investment is exciting today, and it’s only going to continue to grow.”
Nicole Junkermann, the founder of NJF Capital, has given her take on this growth, calling it the next agricultural revolution in a recent article in Business Matters Magazine. The investor argued that by ‘revolutionising our food system’, we would be able to focus on sustainability, nutrition, and protecting the environment and stated that ‘the future of agriculture lies in technology-based advances.’
Since the start of the pandemic Food and AgriTech as medicine is also a growing sector. Ashley Tyrner, founder and CEO of Farmbox Direct, in the process of raising $10 million for her East Coast-based organic and natural produce delivery service after seeing her business grow more than 2,000% during COVID-19.
This agricultural revolution is going to play a key role in making our food systems better for the planet, people, and animals and will be an interesting sector to watch for investors.