Q3 2021 AgTech venture capital investment and exit review


The last quarter set a record for venture capital investments in AgTech startups. In total, $ 4.016 billion was raised by 171 startups in the third quarter. To put that into perspective, last year AgTech companies raised a total of $ 5.15 billion, so this is a huge gain in just one quarter. In the first three quarters of 2021, 441 AgTech startups raised more than $ 8.3 billion.

The pace of AgTech-focused venture-funded startups exits slowed in the last quarter compared to the first half of the year. There were six exits announced in the last quarter, four via mergers and acquisitions and two via public listing. There have been 31 releases so far in 2021, up from 14 last year.

Here’s a look at the amount of venture capital raised in each AgTech industry, as well as some of the startups that have raised the biggest rounds of funding. Finally, the releases of the last quarter are also listed.

Food ingredients / feed / fuel

A total of 50 startups in the food ingredients, feed and fuel category raised $ 1.813 billion in capital in the last quarter. Companies focused on replacing animal products continue to raise huge amounts of capital. In addition to plant or cell protein startups, several insect production companies raised venture capital last quarter. However, there has been a slowdown in funding for startups in the controlled environmental agriculture space.

The three biggest contracts in this category include a $ 350 million round for Perfect Day, a biotech company replacing dairy products with fermentation, a $ 350 million round for Nature’s Fynd, a company that uses fermentation to produce mushroom proteins in food products, and an M round for NotCo, a company offering plant-based milk substitutes.

Value chain and logistics

In total, 57 startups focused on the value chain and logistics sector raised $ 1.046 billion in the last quarter. Companies that reduce food waste and help deliver local products continue to gain the attention of investors. Additionally, startups launching robotic combines have caught the attention of investors. Finally, several farm-focused climate monitoring startups have also raised capital.

The three biggest contracts in this category include a $ 250 million round for Apeel Sciences, a company that makes a plant-based coating to extend fruit shelf life, a $ 225 million round for Misfits Market, a subscription box service for organic products; and a $ 120 million round for GrubMarket, an online marketplace that delivers local food directly to consumers. Misfits Market has made this list two quarters in a row. The company raised $ 200 million in April this year.

Crop protection / production

Twenty-eight startups related to crop protection or production raised $ 773 million in the last quarter. Companies bringing new biologics to market were the big winners in the last quarter.

The three biggest contracts announced in the last quarter include $ 430 million raised by Pivot Bio, a company making bio-fertilizers from microbes, $ 116 million raised by AgBiome, a maker of pesticides biobased from microbes , and $ 45 million for Sound Agriculture, a developer of bio-stimulants to get plants to increase nutrient uptake.

Digital agriculture

In the last quarter, 20 digital agriculture startups raised capital, representing $ 226 million in investments. Investors here have remained focused on digital agronomy, farm management, and yield prediction software.

The three biggest contracts announced so far this year include $ 100 million for Semios, a crop management software platform for fruit trees, nuts and vines, $ 30 million for FieldIn, a form of agricultural software that helps growers of specialty crops manage pesticide applications, harvesting and field operations and $ 23 million for Ceres Imaging, aerial imagery to help farms, orchards and vineyards optimize irrigation.

Animal health / Nutrition

A total of 16 startups with technology focused on improving animal health and nutrition raised $ 157 million in the last quarter. Many investments were made in Q3 focused on aquaculture.

The three biggest deals announced in the last quarter were a $ 75 million round for Embark, a company that makes DNA test kits for pets, a $ 24.6 million round for Proteon Pharmaceuticals, a company marketing microbes to replace the need for antibiotics in livestock; and a $ 20 million Round for XpertSea, a software company specializing in technology and financial solutions for the aquaculture supply chain.

Exits

There were two startups with AgTech products that went public in the last quarter, both through PSPC mergers, and four companies that came out through mergers and acquisitions.

Ginkgo Bioworks, a synthetic biology company that produces bacteria for industrial applications, began operating as NYSE: DNA in September. The Ginkgo platform is used by several other AgTech companies, including Motif FoodWorks, which makes meat and dairy substitutes through fermentation, and Joyn Bio, a joint venture between Ginkgo and Leaps by Bayer which makes biological protection products. cultures. In September, Benson Hill also began trading as NYSE: BHIL. The company uses data science and machine learning with biology and genetics to produce new crop varieties focused on the plant protein market.

Regarding M&A transactions, Agworld, a farm management software platform, was acquired by Semios for an undisclosed amount in August. As mentioned earlier, Semios raised $ 100 million last quarter. payAgri, an agricultural value chain marketplace, was acquired by Suumaya Industries for an undisclosed amount in August. Gaia Foods, a cultured meat startup, was acquired by Shiok Meats in August for an undisclosed amount. Finally, Bear Flag Robotics, a developer of autonomous tractors, was acquired by John Deere in August for $ 250 million.



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