Subsectors | AgTech/FoodTech

  • The US$6.5trn Agriculture, Food & Beverage sector is accelerating the adoption of new technologies, to increase efficiencies in the face of rising constraints (land, water, energy …)
  • This pressure is unlikely to abate as the world’s population is expected to consume 70% more food by 2050
  • The agri-food value chain is particularly complex (inputs, operations, by-products, output) and presents broad scope for innovation
  • While historically “technology” in farming has related to themes such as mechanisation, GMOs, AD …, “AgTech” most commonly refers to the adoption of IT and digital-“smart” technologies/practices as well as biotechnology
  • Investment activity has been broad across subsectors – precision agriculture (smart irrigation, drones …), bionutrients, indoor farming, alternative proteins
  • Different regions are prioritising different AgTech to address their particular contexts; the US has led AgTech / FoodTech investing and investors, but Europe looks set to catch-up given its traditional strengths in food & agriculture
  • Dedicated food / agri funds have led the investing charge; now, generalist cleantech funds are targeting the sector as they broaden their “sustainability” criteria
  • Most relevant corporates in the Food & Agriculture space are active in engaging with the AgTech start-up community and making selective acquisitions
  • VC/PE interest and investment in the AgTech sector has surged 2012-2015, with a risk of a bubble in certain subsegments (e.g. food delivery)