Receive our newsletter – data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. News
May 21, 2019

Deals involving European agri-food tech start-ups rise – study

European start-ups in the food and agriculture technology sector raised US$1.6bn in funding last year, led by the UK and France.

By Dean Best

European start-ups in the food and agriculture technology sector raised US$1.6bn in funding last year led by the UK and France, according to an industry report.

While deals were flat year-on-year in monetary terms, the number of transactions increased 23% to 421, research shows from the online venture capital firm AgFunder in collaboration with start-up investor F&A Next. Most of the investment activity came from companies in the earliest stages of development.

In the UK, the number of deals registered at 103 to the tune of $388m, while France notched up 62 transactions worth $324m, according to the first edition of the Europe AgriFood Tech Funding Report, which added: “The investor base supporting agri-food innovation is varied with only a few dedicated sector funds, but it’s growing, and 603 unique investors made investments during the year.”

Jan Meiling from StartLife, a founder of F&A Next along with Dutch lender Rabobank, Wageningen University and Research, and Anterra Capital, added: “More multi-stage investors are entering the agri-food space, and in our programmes we have been foreseeing and driving the trend for more high quality Agtech start-ups.”

There was a 200% increase in funding to so-called upstream start-ups ($900m), those close to the ground, with a noticeable improvement in farm software and sensing technologies, robotics and “novel” farming systems. However, downstream investment dropped by half as “several” companies exited the start-up category through debut share offerings or acquisition deals. 

European seed stage deals accounted for almost 70% of the deal flows, compared to 55% globally, and 15% of dollars invested compared to just 4% globally.

Content from our partners
GMP: The food sector’s golden rules (and how they will evolve)
Food fraud in the supply chain (and how to fix it)
VEGA level and pressure instrumentation for the food industry

CrowdCube, the UK crowdfunding platform, was the most active investor during the year with 13 deals, followed by the French investment bank Bpifrance (Banque Publique d’Investissement) with 11 and UK-based investor Seraphim with six.

Related Companies

Topics in this article:
NEWSLETTER Sign up Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. A weekly roundup of the latest news and analysis, sent every Friday. The industry's most comprehensive news and information delivered every other month.
I consent to GlobalData UK Limited collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
SUBSCRIBED

THANK YOU