Foodtech and agtech startups raised $19.8bn in venture funding across 1858 deals. Following on from a record-breaking 2018, that's a 4.8% decline year-over-year in dollar terms and 15% by number of deals. But there were some clear bright spots with a 1.3% increase in funding to startups operating upstream -- on the farm and in the supply chain -- as they raised $7.6bn, posting the highest levels of record during any H2 on record.
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Innovators operating upstream in the supply chain achieved a record year, raising $7.6bn driven particulary by an increase in funding to alternative protein startups and vertical farming.
The industry's first meaningful IPO no doubt had an impact after venture-backed plant-based burger startup Beyond Meat listed on the NASDAQ with a stellar debut that pushed its valuation as high as $9bn during the year; alternative protein startups raised $1bn in 2019, double what they raised in 2018.
While there was a pullback in both deal activity and funding for agri-foodtech’s largest global markets (US & China), Europe continued its trend for growth across VC industries posting a 94% increase in funding, while Latin America had a breakout year, closing $1.4bn and 40% more deals than in 2018. Africa also more than doubled its funding in the space.
This increasing global diversity of agri-foodtech was notable in the make-up of investors too; the leader board is much more diverse this year.