Data Snapshot is a regular AFN feature in which we analyze agrifoodtech market investment data provided by our parent company, AgFunder. Click here for more research from AgFunder and sign up to our newsletter to receive alerts about new research reports.
Investment in farm tech startups in India rose to $527 million across 119 deals during the financial year 2020-2021 (FY21), according to AgFunder’s ‘India Agrifood Startup Investment‘ report, which was produced in partnership with Omnivore.
Funding for on-farm technologies has risen steadily in India over the last few years – both in terms of the amounts raised, and the number of deals closed. In recent years, this is partly due to the Covid-19 pandemic causing problems for the country’s agrifood value chain that startups and investors alike rushed in to solve.
The trend signals increased demand for solutions that can enhance day-to-day farm operations and management.
The on-farm opportunity
‘Farm tech’ is made up of a number of different upstream categories — as defined by AgFunder — such as Farm Management Software, Sensing, & IoT; Farm Robotics, Mechanization & Equipment; and Ag Biotechnology, which includes crop inputs and animal health products.
As the new report indicates, investment into these areas was driven by a series of challenges in India’s agriculture sector – such as highly fragmented supply chains, low farm yields, and low farmer incomes, to name a few. At the same time, an increase in smartphone users across rural areas in India has created more opportunities for digitalization.
These factors drove an 8x jump in funding and a 2x growth in deal volume for the Farm Management Software, Sensing & IoT category, which raised $34 million over the course of FY21.
Farm tech startups were involved in some of the year’s standout deals. Online farmer marketplace DeHaat scored $12 million for its Series A round in April 2020, following up with a $30 million Series B in January 2021 [disclosure: AgFunder and Omnivore are both investors in DeHaat.]
Other notable farm tech deals included farmer insurance platform Jai Kisan’s $3.9 million seed round and hyperspectral imaging startup Pixxel‘s $7.3 million raise from Omnivore, Lightspeed, Blume, GrowX, and Techstars, which was India’s largest agrifoodtech seed round in FY21.