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Foodology co-founders Juan Azuero (left) and Daniela Izquierdo with Maluma

Data snapshot: 5 years of agrifoodtech investment in Latin America

September 13, 2023

Data snapshot is a regular AgFunderNews feature in which we analyze agrifoodtech market investment data provided by our parent company, AgFunder.

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Agrifoodtech startups in Latin America have raised just over $7.3 billion since 2018, representing 5% of the global market, according to AgFunder‘s inaugural Latin America AgriFoodTech Investment report as well as preliminary AgFunder data from 2023.

The number of agrifoodtech funding rounds in Latin America has consistently increased over the past five years, reaching 176 deals in 2022, up from just 85 deals in 2018.

While there was an overall decline in the number of deals closed in 2022 compared to 2021, more growth stage deals closed signaling a maturing ecosystem.

Food delivery and eGrocery still leading

The AgFunder-defined categories eGrocery and Cloud Retail Infrastructure were the two top-funded areas of Latin America agrifoodtech investment in 2022. Combined, the eGrocery and Cloud Retail Infrastructure raised about 22% (11.6% and 10.8%, respectively) of Latin America’s overall funding across 39 deals.

The lead is consistent with data from the last five years, which shows eGrocery raising a little over $1.6 billion and Cloud Retail Infrastructure reeling in nearly $3 billion. The next-highest-funded category, Agribusiness Marketplaces, raised $560 million over the same time period.

In 2023, both eGrocery and Cloud Retail Infrastructure have continued to see some healthy funding rounds despite the broader macroeconomic trends.

Top rounds 2018 – 2022

Some of the region’s top rounds over the last five years reflect the trends laid out above.

In 2019, SoftBank invested a whopping $1 billion into Colombia-based on-demand delivery app Rappi, which is widely known around Latin America for its food delivery business. The company followed this up with a $300 million round in 2020.

Rappi bagged yet-another mega-round in 2021 when it raised over $500 million in a series F round led by T. Rowe Price.

Another food ordering and delivery platform, Brazil-headquartered iFood, raised $500 million in 2018 in what was at the time Latin America’s largest-ever funding round for a tech startup.

Rounding out the top five deals for the period, eGrocer Daki landed a $260 million round in partnership with its parent company JOKR.

In fact, eGrocery and food delivery startups have dominated the top rounds of the last five years for Latin America. Just one non-food delivery company, alternative protein startup NotCo, managed to break into the top 10 funding rounds in the last five years.

In 2023, eGrocery and food delivery apps continue to struggle against economic headwinds and shifts in consumer demand. One recent report from Morgan Stanley suggests much of the future growth in food delivery will happen outside of North America and Europe.

In Latin America, JOKR raised another $500 million and announced a focus on the Brazilian markets, while cloud kitchen/food delivery startup Foodology raised $17 million after raising $50 million in 2022.

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