With our partner Start-Up Nation Central, we released the first-ever Israel AgriFood Tech Investing Report, with a review of the last five years of investment in tech startups innovating for the food & agriculture industries. The report details nearly $800m of investment across 278 deals. Israel has produced some of the industry’s most mature and innovative startups, particularly upstream closer to the farmer, although its food technology industry is growing rapidly.
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Israeli AgriFood Tech Startups raised $759 million between 2014 and 2018 with investment from a mix of local and international venture funds focused on agrifood, large, generalist VCs and a broad mix of strategic investors. While the totals may appear low next to the $17bn invested in agrifood tech in 2018, for a country the size of New Jersey in the US, these figures are impressive.
The majority of investment in Israeli agrifood tech startups focused upstream, in contrast with other leading hubs for the sector such as China and India. This is due to a long history in farming innovation in a desert climate as well as world class agriculture research.
Downstream innovation is gathering pace, however, with investment levels in novel food and ingredients startups increasing over the period, particularly in the alternative meat space. This coincided with some high profile exits for downstream startups, putting Israel’s food tech industry on the map.
The country has a diverse range of investors with a particularly active and connected angel investor network driving early stage investment.