India AgriFood Startups raised $1.66 billion between 2013 and 2017 with investment from a mix of major global venture capital investors, multinational tech corporations, impact investors and dedicated agrifood funds. The demands of a growing middle class and a broken supply chain drove much of the innovation and investment during the period, while upstream, farm tech startups, picked up steam in the latter years.
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The majority of investment in Indian AgriFood startups focused downstream, particularly on tech-enabled food delivery offerings as the country’s growing middle class in cities demanded more convenient solutions. New food brands and restaurant startups also dominated the funding landscape over the period as consumers looked for new food experiences and formats such as ready-to-eat.
A pullback in funding in 2015 after the collapse of some of the many food delivery options pushed the focus onto other categories and funding for upstream, farm tech startups gathered pace, particularly Agribusiness Marketplaces that aim to improve farmer access to much needed inputs and tools.
While startup funding deals were relatively lower than in developed nations, deal activity was high, representing 10% of global deal count, emphasizing the need for disruptive technology to improve India’s agrifood supply chain.