Novel farming ventures have claimed the largest share of agrifoodtech investments in Europe, with some big rounds for insect farming in particular, according to AgFunder’s 2021 AgriFoodTech Investment report.
It finds European innovators leading the novel farming sector worldwide, with French innovation, through companies like Ynsect, InnovaFeed and, nextProtein at the forefront.
German hyperlocal vertical farming venture InFarm raised the biggest round both in Europe and globally in 2020.
The report also found gene editing technologies dominating, as French synthetic DNA producer DNA Script extended its Series B round, raising an additional $50 million on top of $39 million in 2019.
On the alt-meat front, the Netherlands’ cultured-meat company Mosa Meat “raised two slugs of capital to put its hamburger on track for market, pending regulatory clarity.” In addition, “Cubiq is growing cellular fats. The Meatless Farm, The Protein Brewery and THIS.CO are focused on new plant-based alternative meats.”
Supporting agrifood’s clean energy transition, Lithuania-based Green Genius is developing distributed clean energy products, including for food companies like Poland’s Marwit Foods.
“Late-stage activity plummeted, 2020 was the start of a new innovation cycle”
The report says European agrifoodtech ventures raised $3.3 billion in 2020, a 15 per cent drop from 2019. But total investment is expected to reach $3.8 billion as new 2020 deals come to light.
At that level, Europe’s 2020 funding represents a 2.6 per cent decrease from 2019, mostly on the back of a drop in late stage activity, as early stage investment activity increased.
“Europe’s late-stage activity plummeted, signalling that 2020 was the start of a new innovation cycle on the Continent,” the report says.
“Though the map continues to be dominated by the UK and Northern Europe, this year’s Top 20 list included Greece, Lithuania and Iceland. Russian startups raised about $47 million more in 2020 than in 2019.”
Contributors added, “Consumers dialled up demands for transparency about the origins of their food.”