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.
Indian startups focused on the ‘messy middle’ of the agrifood value chain raised a combined $176 million in FY21, according to AgFunder’s ‘India Agrifood Startup Investment‘ report, which was produced in partnership with Omnivore.
The figure is down slightly from FY20, which saw the Midstream Technologies category raise $204 million. However, deal count increased from 20 in FY20 to 29 in FY21, making Midstream Tech the most active category in India’s agrifoodtech sector last year.
Overall, Midstream Tech startups accounted for 60% of total upstream investments and 30% of upstream deals:
This funding frenzy was in part driven by India’s need to make its food supply chains more efficient. As in other parts of the world, the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted — and in many cases, worsened — the problems and inefficiencies in India’s supply chain, with startups stepping in to fix them.
Defining Midstream Technologies
The Midstream Tech category encompasses everything that’s between the farm (or the lab) and consumer-facing areas like retail and foodservice. Logistics and transport, food processing, cold chain storage, food waste mitigation, and food safety and quality testing are among the subsectors included in the category.
But within these lies a wide variety of use cases, and overlap with other segments of the agrifood value chain can frequently be found.
India’s top Midstream Tech deals in FY21
In FY20, more than 50% of Midstream Tech funding went to one company: B2B fresh food supplier Ninjacart. FY21 saw more distribution, with six startups raising rounds greater than $10 million. Investment activity also focused on new entrants building solutions around logistics, traceability, and processing:
That said, Ninjacart still grabbed one of FY21’s biggest deals, with a $49 million Series C fundraise.
Elsewhere, Arya, a post-harvest services platform, raised a $21 million Series B round and Waycool closed $20.6 million in Series C funding; while AI-based quality assessment platform Intello Labs secured $5.9 million for its Series A round [disclosure: AgFunder is an investor in Intello Labs.]