Last week, we asked the agtech community to get Grinchy about the bad habits and overwrought trends that they want to leave behind in 2018. With the festive holiday haze lifting and a brand new year ahead, we asked a few venture capital investors and startup executives to share their predictions and hopes for the industry in 2019.
What do you think, and hope, will happen in 2019 in agrifood tech? Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rob Trice, Founder, Mixing Bowl, and Partner, Better Food Ventures
“If you look at AgFunder’s funding report, there’s $10 billion and roughly $6 billion in food tech and $3 billion into agtech. Only $1 billion was in what we call the messy middle of food which is post-farmgate and presale. The transport, logistics, processing areas are an underfunded space. That’s where we are putting our focus in 2019. We are an IT-focused fund, so IT linkages from seed to stomach.”
Sanjeev Krishnan, CIO and Managing Director, S2G Ventures
“Our thesis is really on how consumers drive change in the food system by voting with their pocketbooks. We are excited about consumers driving fundamental change and the ripple effects that this brings and we are excited about seeing this continued momentum. I’m also excited because I think there will be more M&A in food and more IPOs in the sector. Finally, I hope to see continued interest from generalists at later rounds because the sector is still quite undercapitalized, particularly in Series B and Series C rounds.”
Jurriaan Ruys, CEO at Sensoterra
“One of the things that we had expected last year that hasn’t happened yet is the extent to which we put a value on scarce inputs like water. There are still situations where the amount of water we use is not sustainable and we need to consider the extent to which we reward growers who are efficient in resource use, which could be stronger. This is definitely also on my wishlist going into next year.”
Axel Wehr, Principal at Anterra Capital
“The leading food & beverage companies have been busily streamlining their organizations, acquiring emerging brands and funding innovation at an early stage to combat declining market share. We expect more of the same going forward. But could 2019 be the year in which Big Food finally begins developing products and go-to-market channels that actually resonate with a millennial consumer that is increasingly disenfranchised with what were once household brand names?”