Data Snapshot is a regular AgFunderNews feature in which we analyze agrifoodtech market investment data provided by our parent company, AgFunder.
In contrast to global investment trends, Latin America’s food delivery startups continued to garner the most capital in 2022, even as VC money elsewhere in the world swam back upstream.
The eGrocery investment category was the region’s biggest, raising $404 million; Cloud Retail Infrastructure — which includes on-demand enabling tech and last-mile delivery services — came next with $270 million.
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, according to AgFunder‘s inaugural Latin America AgriFoodTech Investment report produced in partnership with SP Ventures, Alianza Team, BASF and Cibersons.
VC funding for agrifoodtech declined all over the world last year, in keeping with macro trends. Latin America was no exception here: the region’s agrifoodtech startups raised $1.7 billion in 2022, a 39% decline on 2021.
However, compared to 2020, the region posted a 183% increase in agrifoodtech investment.
Top deals for downstream startups
Latin American consumers are no different from those across the globe in their demand for at-home food delivery. Startups delivering groceries are maturing all over the world; in Latin America, a couple of later stage deals pushed eGrocery investment into the top spot.
Mexico-based Jüsto is unique among eGrocery companies in that it eliminates intermediaries while managing its own micro fulfillment centers. This shortens the overall supply chain and creates a more direct link between Jüsto and the consumer. The company also creates technology to reduce food waste, forecast demand and manage inventory. [Disclosure: AgFunder is an investor in Jüsto.]
“We are transforming the industry through technology, innovation and fair practices,” the company said in AgFunder’s report. “Showing that we can deliver good quality food, with a great service and in a more efficient and fair way regarding our suppliers, the community, our own team and the environment.”
Jüsto secured $152 million Series B round in 2022 led by General Atlantic.
For the Cloud Retail Infrastructure category, Colombia leads the pack here, with four startups among the country’s top six deals in 2022.
That includes Rappi the unicorn startup that’s building at-home delivery infrastructure for food and products across Latin America. The company raised $100 million in 2022.
It’s difficult to say whether downstream investment will continue to dominate Latin America agrifoodtech investment. As noted earlier, VC money in this industry is headed back upstream and new startups focused on conservation and climate are beginning to command some of the capital.