European AgriFood Tech – Investing Report
Ag Biotech, Farm Management SW, Bioenergy & Biomaterials, Novel Farming and Agribusiness Marketplaces: just some of the mainstream which are defining the agtech investment landscape in Europe, but what are Italy and the Netherlands doing?
The Netherlands is the second largest exporter of food in the world, much of which is produced in high-tech greenhouses. It is therefore already a leader in indoor agtech. This also naturally lends itself to strength in upstream innovation overall. The top five deals of 2018 include water tech(Voltea), renewable chemicals (Photanol), digital livestock tech (Connecterra), the first cell cultured meat startup (Mosa Meat), and robotics for the supply chain (Invert Robotics). Land Life Company has developed technology to reverse land degradation and enable trees to grow in water-challenged environments using special tree-planting hardware and big data. Downstream, MiniBrew is a home brewing device. StartMonday is a recruiting tool for restaurants. Flex-Appeal helps retailers to reach, train and engage employees.
While dominated by early stage deals resulting in just $34 million of funding during the year, Italy was the third most active foodtech ecosystem closing 31 deals. The country’s strengths are in downstream innovation and food delivery with Supermercato one the region’s most mature, private eGrocers. Upstream technologies include YouFarmer, a co-farming platform, Viniexport, a marketplace for vineyards, and WallFarm, an indoor farming tech company. A novel retail technology on the list is Hotbox Food, which has developed a box on the back of a delivery motorbike that keeps food hot by using heat from the bike’s exhaust or electric supply.