Project Newsletter #19

January 2022

For the year ahead, the ag-tech sector is predicted to experience record merger and acquisition activity. The reason for this is because the precision agriculture sector is maturing, with software providers coalescing around models that combine various farm management tools into unified software suites that are less complex to manage and can unlock synergies by tapping into diverse datasets.

The next on its prediction list is that venture capital funding for artificial intelligence and machine learning companies will exceed model development tools. It is noted that in 2021, the AI and machine learning industry accepted the need for data-centric AI processes.

Historically, platforms enabling model selection and training have led venture capital funding. Bundled AI-as-a-service platforms led funding in 2019 and 2020, and model development tools have led funding in 2021.

Given the lack of quality training data and the commoditized nature of leading model architectures, data-focused solutions are growing in demand, so PitchBook believes the category will surge in 2022.

Concerning the food-tech industry, it continues to grow with remarkable speed fueled by record funding. In 2022, alt-protein food products are expected to reach critical mass. Following significant funding deals over the past year, and a steady trend of new partnerships with incumbent food producers, alt-protein providers are likely to improve scaling and go-to-market processes over the next year, introducing a wave of new products that look or taste like traditional protein-based foods.

Latest updates from the ag-tech landscape, how it is evolving and where the investment deals and money are flowing, will be presented at the next World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit in March 2022.

The European Innovation Council (EIC) is pleased to invite all eligible start-ups to participate in a two-day online event dedicated to the Green Deal. The selected EIC-backed SMEs will have the chance to present their innovative solutions to a jury of investors consisting of representatives from Robert Bosch Venture Capital, ArcTern Ventures, SET Ventures, Diffusion Capital Partners, Total Energies Ventures, Voima Ventures Oy, E-Capital, Capricorn Partners, Iberdrola, Norrsken VC, BayWa Ventures, InnoEnergy, Industrifonden, Cusp Capital, Mito Technology, PVS Investments, and Sofinnova Partners – with more to follow. The applications are open until 23 January 2022. 👉 More info here 

F&A Next is about thought leadership and connecting promising start-ups and scale-ups, to dedicated food & ag-tech investors and innovative corporates. Normally it includes one and a half day of networking, pitching and debating the dynamics in food and agriculture. 👉 More info here.

As part of a pilot project, this Innovation Procurement initiative offers EIC-funded companies the chance to help Spanish rural areas develop by using innovative solutions and sustainable technologies in agriculture and reach final customers in Spain. Applicants will get the possibility of having top-tier specialised coaching and support from the EIC, plus having AgroBank use their sales force to promote your innovative solution. Additionally, there’s the opportunity of having new financing services and procurement models to stimulate the business and have further visibility. Applications are open until 21 January 2022. 👉 More info here.