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Agribusiness Marketplaces funding H1 2021
Image credit: AgFunder

Data Snapshot: Asia, LatAm dominate H1 investment into Agribusiness Marketplaces

October 14, 2021

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

The world’s biggest Agribusiness Marketplaces funding deal during the first half of this year was in Indonesia, reflecting the Southeast Asian country’s growing presence in the global tech and VC ecosystem.

Jakarta-based TaniHub raised $65.5 million for its Series B round back in May. MDI Ventures, the corporate VC arm of Indonesian telecom giant Telkom, led the round. Also taking part in the raise were  new and existing investors including AddVentures — the corporate VC arm of Thai conglomerate SCG — along with UOB Venture Management, BRI Ventures, Flourish Ventures, Intudo Ventures, Openspace Ventures, Tenaya Capital, and Temasek affiliate Vertex Ventures.

Securing almost as much funding in H1 2021 was Colombia’s Frubana, which raised $65 million the following month from investors including GGV CapitalLightspeed Venture PartnersSoftBankTiger Global, and Monashees. Based in Bogota and operating across several Latin American countries, the startup links farmers directly to restaurants and small retailers in order to sell produce without the need for other intermediaries.

Among the other top 10 Ag Marketplaces by investment dollars in H1 2021 are India’s DeHaat, UK-headquartered but Africa-focused Wefarm, and US-based Bushel, which specifically targets grain farmers and traders – and this week acquired GrainBridge from ADM and Cargill [disclosure: AgFunder is an investor in both DeHaat and Wefarm.]

Top 10 Agribusiness Marketplaces by funds raised, H1 2021

Agribusiness Marketplaces funding H1 2021
Image credit: AgFunder

What are Agribusiness Marketplaces?

Agribusiness Marketplaces is AgFunder’s term for online marketplace platforms which provide farmers with a variety of services and market linkages — both upstream and downstream — with the objective of bringing more efficiency to the agrifood supply chain.

They connect farmers with resources like inputs, equipment, and agronomic support at one end, and offtake, logistics, and marketing at the other.

Some focus on specific areas, such as financing or supplying restaurants and retailers. Others seek to provide a holistic service covering everything between purchasing seeds to managing produce sales and distribution.

Why do Ag Marketplaces in emerging markets appear to be securing the most funding?

Of the top 10 Agribusiness Marketplaces by H1 funding:

  • 4x are from Asia Pacific
  • 3x are from North America (one of which, ProducePay, has a substantial presence in Latin America
  • 2x are from South America
  • 1x is from Europe (and is focused on serving Africa)

Clearly, there’s an incline towards emerging markets in this category. In economies such as Brazil, China, India, and Indonesia, a majority of the agricultural industry is made up of smallholder farmers – in many cases, working on less than a hectare of land. Moreover — and partly as a result of this — ag supply chains remain highly fragmented, with multiple layers of intermediaries and larger numbers of actors on both the buy and sell sides.

Therefore, it’s not too much of a surprise to see several examples of generalized Ag Marketplaces scoring big-ticket fundings in emerging markets like Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and South America. In more advanced agricultural economies, however, it is specialist Ag Marketplaces which continue to attract substantial investor interest – such as Bushel’s grain marketing platform and cannabis-focused Leaf Trade.

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