AgFunder, an equity crowdfunding platform for agriculture technology, today announced the release of its AgTech Investing Report 2014: Year in Review, covering $2.36 billion raised across 264 deals in the AgTech industry for 2014. From precision agriculture to biotech to drones, venture capitalists made investments in companies across the agriculture value chain.
“The agriculture value chain is massive, but we were still surprised that total investment dollars going into the industry was on par with the clean tech and fintech sectors. Since Monsanto acquired Climate Corporation in late 2013 for nearly $1 billion, there has been significant investor interest in the space.”
The 50-page report contains information on all AgTech deals in 2014, a detailed look at investors and investor activity, and commentary on major industry trends.
While the second quarter brought in the largest volume of deals, the fourth quarter saw $969 million in investment capital, a 90% jump over Q3 and greater than any two quarters combined. Investments in fives companies accounted for 54% of Q4 investments.
Precision agriculture represented 30% of all AgTech deals in 2014, but received only 12% of all investment capital. Most investment centered on early stage opportunities: 83% of the deals were Seed or Series A, with median deal size of $1.15 million. Precision ag software and drones captured the largest deals in 2014 with investment from well known Silicon Valley VCs.
Foodtech companies saw $679M in financing over 59 deals, with two companies representing over 50% of the total foodtech financing. One subsector, sustainable protein, managed to attract some of most elite firms in Silicon Valley, as these companies seek to disrupt the meat and egg industry, which traditionally demands many resources to maintain and has a huge environmental impact.
Indoor Agriculture also had a breakout year, receiving seven percent of invested dollars in 2014. Long considered unviable due to high energy costs, the emergence of Indoor Agriculture is being driven by the local food movement and water conservation initiatives, affordable LEDs, and a nascent cannabis industry.
AgTech had 271 unique investors in 2014, and 41 of those made two or more investments. The most active investors were well known Silicon Valley investors with a history in cleantech, and most of these these firms were active in the large rounds of $30 million plus.
AgTech-focused VCs were the other active group of investors, but they tended to participate in smaller rounds ($9M – $16M), having little overlap with large Silicon Valley VCs. At the seed investment stage, new activity from incubators and accelerators is providing much needed capital for startups. They participated in 21 out of the 123 Seed funded AgTech companies (17%).
Access the full report here.
Have a crowdfunding offering you'd like to share? Submit an offering for consideration using our Submit a Tip form and we may share it on our site!