Omnivore and AgFunder has announced the publication of the India Agrifood Startup Investment Report FY2020-21. It is an annual assessment of the latest funding trends in the agritech and foodtech sectors in India. The report covers FY2020-21, from 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the agrifood tech sector witnessed an investment boom. Total funding into Indian agrifood startups saw a 100% YoY jump from USD 1.1 billion in FY2019-20 to USD 2.1 billion in FY2020-21. Deal numbers also went up, from 133 in the last financial year to 189 in FY2020-21.
Louisa Burwood-Taylor, Head of Media and Research, AgFunder, pointed out that the India Agrifood Startup Investment Report has recorded the dynamics of this critical ecosystem since 2013. “Particularly notable in this year’s report, and a milestone for the industry, is the increase in investment in technologies operating closer to the farm. While farm tech is well-established category in India compared to many other Asian and emerging market regions, this year’s $500 million+ investments is a testament to the maturity and growing range of technologies for Indian farmers today and investors backing them.”
Mark Kahn, Managing Partner of Omnivore, said the report offers a closer look at the vibrant agritech and foodtech ecosystem in India. “Despite the challenges of the pandemic, tenacious Indian startups helped keep farmers, SMEs and consumers afloat when traditional supply chains collapsed. We believe that FY2020-21 will be remembered as the inflection point in Indian agritech, and the beginning of a revolution in rural India.”
The report highlights that the number of upstream deals (98), for the first time ever, surpassed downstream deals (91). Upstream can be defined here as startups developing technologies for farmers and agricultural value chains, while downstream includes consumer-facing startups in eGrocery, restaurant marketplaces and premium branded foods.
Looking beyond upstream and downstream, farm tech grew aggressively, with startups raising USD 527 million across 119 deals, up from USD 431 million across 74 deals in FY2019-20. Moreover, FY2020-21 saw prominent generalist VC funds in multiple farm tech deals including Sequoia; Matrix; Blume Ventures; Chiratae Ventures; RTP Global; Lightspeed; and Prosus Ventures.
Midstream Technologies was the most active category among upstream sectors, with startups raising USD 176 million across 29 deals. Funding was fueled by the need to improve efficiencies in India’s fragmented supply chains that were severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.