Food tech startups raking in cash: survey

July 31, 2015

Farm and food tech startups were red-hot in the first half of 2015, pulling in $2.06 billion from investors, a new survey showed Friday.

The figure for the first six months was up 132 percent from the same period in 2014 and nearly matched the full-year 2014 total of $2.36 billion, according to research from the funding platform AgFunder, which helps connect investors to emerging firms.

The amount of money pouring in—amid an overall boom in tech investments—could be revised since some of the investments are not publicly disclosed, AgFunder said.

The second quarter saw 99 deals totaling $971 million "which we expect to revise upward as additional funding data trickles in," AgFunder chief executive Rob Leclerc said.

The segments attracting dollars include "precision agriculture," which allows farms to analyze and maximize crop yields, which accounts for some $400 million so far in 2015. Some of the startups include satellite imagery company Planet Labs ($118 million) and drone makers DJI ($75 million), 3D Robotics ($64 million) and Pulse AeroSpace ($23 million), the report said.

Water tech was another big segment, with interest growing due to the historic drought in California. This attracted some $525 million over the six months, led by $500 million raised by Israeli drip irrigation provider Netafim.

Food ecommerce is another big segment, led by $135 million to Blue Apron, a startup which delivers ingredients and recipes, and delivery services like Munchery ($85 million), Sprig ($45 million) and NatureBox ($30 million).

Other segments included bio-energy, crop and soil tech, food storage, cannabis and sustainable protein, the report said.

"There's no question that technology will be the future of agriculture," Leclerc said.

"The real question is just how quickly we will get there. In the past, agriculture revolutions have moved more slowly, but these fundings, together with technology adoption rates, are helping to propel the current agtech revolution forward to meet the goals of more food, better food, and sustainable food systems."

A separate report by the consulting firm Rosenheim found food and media investment hit $460 million in the month of June. The report includes companies in areas such as food delivery but also restaurant recommendation and review websites.

"As we have been seeing for a while now, delivery and online ordering were represented in spades, but we also saw an influx of digital content deals—ranging from recipes to restaurants," founder Brita Rosenheim said.

Explore further: Venture funding for startups still surging

Related Stories

Venture funding for startups still surging

July 23, 2015

Investors pumped some $32.5 billion into more than 1,800 venture-backed companies around the world in the past quarter, amid feverish interest in tech startups, a survey showed Thursday.

'On-demand' startups see surge in venture capital

May 14, 2015

Startups in the "on-demand" sector—such as Uber and Instacart, which offer speedy services on a smartphone app—are seeing an unprecedented surge in venture capital, a new report showed Thursday.

Venture investments, number of deals up in 4Q

January 17, 2014

Funding for U.S. startups increased 20 percent in the final three months of 2013 as venture capitalists poured more money into more deals, according to a report released Friday.

Recommended for you

EPA adviser is promoting harmful ideas, scientists say

March 22, 2019

The Trump administration's reliance on industry-funded environmental specialists is again coming under fire, this time by researchers who say that Louis Anthony "Tony" Cox Jr., who leads a key Environmental Protection Agency ...

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.