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Data Snapshot: Supply chain issues drove $3.1bn investment in midstream tech in H1 2021

November 3, 2021

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

Ventures operating in the middle of the agrifood value chain raked in $3.1 billion in investments in the first half of 2021, making it the second-highest funded category of the year so far, according to the latest data from AgFunder.

However, more than half of that dollar total went to a single company.

What is Midstream Technologies?

The Midstream Technologies category encompasses everything that’s between the farm (or the lab) and consumer-facing areas like retail. 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.

Top H1 2021 Midstream Technologies deals

US warehousing and distribution company Lineage Logistics$1.9 billion fundraise from March of this year accounts for over half of the $3.1 billion in Midstream Technologies investments for H1. All other deals for the time period stayed at or below the $200 million mark.

Also tackling the middle of the agrifood supply chain is San Francisco-based Benchling, which raised $200 million in Series E funding in April and brands itself as a “life sciences R&D cloud” for biotech businesses. FourKites and Bringg, companies both focused on supply chain logistics, each brought in $100 million.

Outside of logistics, food waste mitigation was another notable category from H1, with Hazel Technologies raising $70 million and Mori (previously known as Cambridge Crops) securing $16 million.

The emphasis on supply chain and logistics technologies shouldn’t surprise, with 2021 being a year of supply chain disruptions brought about by Covid-19. At the same time, there are more stringent regulations around food safety and a growing focus on reducing and managing wastage to enable a more sustainable food system. This perfect storm of factors is fast making Midstream Technologies a favored destination for investment dollars in the agrifood value chain.

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