Agrifoodtech startups globally raised $24 billion in the first half of 2021 – getting very close to the total for all of 2020, which broke records with around $30 billion in funding for the category.
While mega-deals involving seven Chinese eGrocery startups accounted for $3.8 billion of H1’s figure, funding to other countries is still on track to outpace 2020 levels, according to the latest data from AgFunder [disclosure: AgFunder is AFN‘s parent company].
Excluding Chinese deals to remove these outliers, eGrocery was still the best-funded category, taking 23% of the pie followed by Midstream Technologies at 15% and In-Store Retail & Restaurant Tech at 13%. The latter saw a revival this year after Covid-19 lockdown orders lifted across the globe, and restaurants and retailers used tech to adjust to a new paradigm involving fewer wait staff and socially distanced operations.
In fact, downstream startups more generally experienced an uptick in funding, once again overtaking upstream investment; 2020 was the first year on record that upstream startups — those operating closer to the farm and in the supply chain — raised more money than their consumer-facing peers. Downstream categories’ funding boost was down to a lot more late-stage funding than for upstream categories: $4.9 billion in total at Series D and $5.4 billion at later stages, versus $428 million and $2.8 billion respectively for upstream.
AgriFoodTech Investment by Category (ex-China) – H1 2021
Despite China’s massive eGrocery deals — which accounted for nearly all of the $4 billion in total funding to the country in H1 — the US remains by far the largest market for agrifoodtech. with ventures raising $9 billion between January and June. Turkey joined the ranks of typical top-funded countries like the UK, Singapore, and Germany after its fast grocery delivery company Getir closed a $555 million late-stage deal. Similarly, Finland’s food delivery platform Wolt raised $530 million, pushing the Nordic country into the top 10.