Most other agtech sectors notched new records in 2020. The report says digital technologies, precision agriculture, plant sciences, ag marketplace and fintech also drew strong investment.
The report also highlights that while corporate venture capital investments are on the rise, very few have led to outright acquisitions. “There is a broader level of interest developing in agrifood tech both from technology and financial investors that means traditional corporates cannot sit on their hands given they will face increasing competition for the best companies, and these will also have the option of public listing,” the report states.
One thing I found interesting in the report was the discussion about special purpose acquisition companies, also known as a SPAC or a blank-check company. It is a company that has no commercial operations and is formed strictly to raise money through an IPO for the purpose of acquiring a company. For example, indoor-farming company App Harvest was listed on the NASDAQ with Novus Capital, a SPAC, in February. It raised $475 million.
“While not without its skeptics and critics, the rising number of SPACs looking for targets will likely give access to greater levels of capital and liquidity to the maturing cohort of startups in agrifood suited to this investment model. At the time of writing, more than 350 active SPACs are in-market with greater than $50 billion in committed capital,” the report said.
While I focused on the agtech side here, the report also notes that investment in food technology is far higher, tallying $17.3 billion of investment in 2020, largely due to big investments in meal kit, food delivery and e-commerce categories as a response to the pandemic’s massive disruption of the sector. You can view a copy of the report in its entirety here: https://finistere.com/….
Top Venture Capital Deals in AgTech in 2020
1. Indigo Agriculture, $500 million (crop protection and inputs management)
2. Ynsect, $371.5 million (animal tech)
3. Farmer’s Business Network, $250 million (marketplace and fintech)
4. Revol Greens, $203.7 (indoor ag)
5. Infarm, $201.3 million (indoor ag)
6. Xaircraft, $179.9 (imagery)
7. Plenty, $175 million (indoor ag)
8. InnovaFeed, $165.2 million (animal tech)
9. Benson Hill, $159.1 million (plant sciences)
10. Plenty, $140 million (indoor ag)
Katie Dehlinger can be reached at email@example.com
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