The first annual AgTech + FoodTech Summit in Berlin is where farmers, technologists, venture capitalists and governmental representatives meet to discuss how technology can and will affect all aspects of the farming process, from production to supply chain and distribution.
The idea of applying software and hardware technology to all aspects of farming, and food production is a hot topic for some and a pain point for others.
Panel and presentation topics will span the areas of market analysis, financing, government initiatives, production, alternative foods, and technology. According to Agfunder, Agtech funding reached $1.75 billion during the first half of 2016 with 307 deals. The top-line investment level represents a 20% year-over-year decline from H1-2015, while the numbers of deals increased 7% from H1-2015. We will explore deal flow and insights as to the future of agriculture and food production as it relates to technology.
With total food demand expected to increase 70 percent by 2050 – and food prices expected to rise as much as 100 percent during that time – sustainable agriculture technology, or "AgTech" will be not just instrumental, but critical, to increase productivity in the face of significant environmental constraints and challenges.
Future Food-Tech brings together key figures from across the food industry, including investors, start-ups, technology companies and food and ingredients manufacturers. With a common goal to meet the global food challenge, the event will create a forum for networking, debate, discussion and learning – showcasing the technologies and championing the innovations which have the potential to transform the sector.
The Future Food-Tech Summit has been developed to meet the needs of the North American market – putting in place the opportunities to create partnerships between investors and innovators, share best practice and gain insight into the future of the industry.
Agriculture needs a hybrid think tank that will fearlessly take on some of the issues affecting the industry. Organizations must be bold and take some risks — this is where IoT + Innovation + Agriculture + Venture Capital becomes the answer! This hybrid would be refreshing for producers and add must needed support.
Hybrid organizations would serve as a lightning rod for the industry and producers alike. Farmers are tired of all the paperwork and lack of respect. Producers are looking for a champion that will support the industry with common-sense policies and clearly worded explanations that will help governments, media and the general public better understand the industry as a whole.
AgTech Connect aims to address these issues as we assess Silicon Valley investment opportunities, investments from other parts of the world, global needs, farmers and innovative solutions.
Top areas of investment are food eCommerce and robotics which aligns with the sub sector grown data which saw an increase of +237% (drones and Robotics) and +221% (eCommerce).
Categories of Agtech Funding, 2015
Food eCommerce: 29%
Decision Support Technology: 9%
Soil & Crop Technology: 5%
Biomaterials & Biochemicals:4%
Agtech subsector growth/decline, 2015:
Drones & Robotics: +237%
Food Ecommerce: +221%
Decision Support: +190%
Smart Equipment: -73%
Soil & Crop Technology: -31%
Bioenergy: – 11%
The opportunities in AgTech are vast. The white paper, AgTech: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Growth, created by the Kauffman Foundation and Donald Danforth Plant Science Center states that there needs to be more investment and entrepreneurship to fuel the “Evergreen Revolution,” or sustainably produce 70 percent more food by 2050. Global net farm income is currently $120 billion and farm assets are around $2 trillion. Approximately 80 percent of startups are focused on improving the value chain through technology inputs, crop production, animal production, agricultural processing and manufacturing and distribution.
Over the last six years, 132 AgTech startups have sought funding annually, with 38 percent of the companies located in the north-central United States: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. It has been suggested that this "Heartland" region should become the “epicenter for development of a comprehensive innovation ecosystem and entrepreneurial economy around the emerging AgTech sector.”
Agriculture is very important for developing countries as well. There are a lot of opportunities and agriculture bridges the gap between economic development, technology and the future of food production and distribution.
In 2014, there were 64 deal spanning 271 companies, and in 2015 by the end of 2nd quarter, there were 225 deals representing $2 billion in investment.
Funding for every stage beyond seed was up in 2015 compared to 2014, with a projected $1.7 billion in late stage investments for 2015 compared to $900 million in 2014.