There is a growing number of startups tackling the portion of the supply chain between the farmers and the retailer, including traceability technologies, robotics for processors, environmental sensing and tracking technologies, logistics, and robotics for processors. Food testing and traceability are a particularly hot segment in the category we call ‘Midstream Technologies’ as the global food system continues to suffer from foodborne illness outbreaks, food fraud, and human rights labor violations.
In 2018, the category gained in popularity among venture capital investors with startups raising nearly $1.35 billion across 167 deals, posting a 44% increase in funding totals compared to 2017, and 87% year-over-year increase in deal activity.
Based on these numbers, Midstream Technologies climbed from the third-best funded sector to the second-best funded sector behind Ag Biotechnology, which secured a whopping $1.5 billion in funding in 2018, according to AgFunder’s 2018 AgriFood Tech Investing Report.
Here are the top 20 Midstream Technology fundings from 2018:
- Zymergen – The Emeryville, CA-based company completed a $400 million Series C led by returning investor SoftBank Vision Fund for its synthetic biology microbe engineering platform.
- Samsara Networks – The San Francisco-based company completed its second raise of 2018, a $100 million Series E led by existing investors General Catalyst and Andreessen Horowitz for its wireless sensor and remote networking technology.
- Nuro – The Mountain View, CA-Based robotics company, completed a $92 million Series B led by SoftBank Vision Fund, bringing its total funding to $1 billion.
- Metrc – The Lakeland-FL-based company completed a $50 million venture round led by Tiger Global Management and Snoop Dogg’s Casa Verde Capital for its regulatory compliance cannabis software.
- Samsara Networks – The company completed its first 2018 funding in March 2018, raising a $50 million Series D led by General Catalyst and Andreessen Horowitz.
- Kodiak Robotics – The Mountain View, CA-based company, completed a $40 million Series A led by Battery Ventures for its autonomous technology aimed at the long-haul trucking industry starting with a self-driving truck.
- Nuritas – The Dublin, Ireland-based company completed a $34 million debt financing with the European Investment Bank for its AI molecular ingredient discovery platform.
- Mesh Korea – The Seoul-based company completed a $33 million Series E with Hyundai Motor Company, SK Networks, an Mirae Asset Financial Group for its online logistics company developing real-time same-day delivery platforms.
- FoodLogiQ – The Durham, NC-based company completed a $28 million Series A led by Renewal Funds for its food safety and traceability software program.
- Starship Technologies – The San Francisco-based company, completed a $25 million seed round with five investors including Morpheus Ventures, Matrix Partners, and three individuals for its self-driving robot delivery technology.
- Flaschenpost – The EU-based company completed a $24 million venture round led by Vorwerk Direct Selling Ventures and Cherry Ventures for its online beverage distribution platform that features automation of logistical processes and a route planning algorithm.
- RightHand Robotics – The Boston-based company completed a $23 million raise led by Menlo Ventures for its end-to-end e-commerce order fulfillment platform.
- Clear Labs – The Menlo Park, CA-based company completed a $21 million raise led by Menlo Ventures for its sequencing technology that tests food for dangerous pathogens like Salmonella.
- Soft Robotics Inc. – The Cambridge, MA-based company closed its a $25 million series A led by Scale Venture Partners and Hyperplane Venture Capital for its automated soft robotics technology.
- Geltor – The San Leandro, CA-based company completed an $18.2 million Series A led by Cultivian Sandbox for its animal-free “designer collagen” products.
- Good Fortune Tiger – The Shanghai-based company completed a $16 million Series A raise with Zero One Ventures, Junshang Capital, and DCM China Investment for its commodity logistics platform.
- Benchling – The San Francisco-based company completed a $15 million Series B led by Benchmark for its cloud-based software platform aimed at biology researchers and R&D organizations.
- Wajiu.com – The Dongcheng, China-based company completed a $14 million Series B led by China Merchants Securities for its online B2B platform focused on imported wine and beverages.
- Phylagen – An AgFunder portfolio company, the San Francisco-based startup company a $14 million Series A led by Working Capital, Cultivian Sandbox Ventures, and Breakout Ventures for its data analytics program that is building a global environmental microbiome database.
- Stellapps – The Bangalore, India-based company completed a $14 million Series B led by IndusAge Partners and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its dairy supply chain focused IoT technology.