In the last five years, Brazilian startups focused on agribusiness, the agtechs, saw the investments and number of rounds jump from $15.3 million infused in 15 rounds in 2017 to $109.2 million invested in 34 rounds in 2021. In 2022, until early May, there were only 10 funding rounds nabbed by agtechs, but with bigger checks, bringing $54.7 million in investments, more than half of the total raised by agtechs last year.
The data are from the AgTech Pocket Report 2022, issued by the innovation platform Distrito. The study surveyed 366 Brazilian agtechs in seven categories:
- Precision agriculture (solutions for data collection, support software, and big data analytics);
- Miscellany (startups that provide essential services for agribusiness, but do not fit as agtech, such as fintechs and edtechs focused on the sector);
- Automation (agricultural machinery, automated production);
- Biotechnology (biological solutions for agribusiness, such as genetics and bioenergy);
- Marketplace (platforms for trading inputs and commodities, equipment rental, and purchase of agricultural products);
- Midstream technologies (logistics, transportation, traceability, and food safety services);
- Novel farming (innovative production methods).
Considering the startups listed in the report, Brazil has a higher concentration of precision agriculture agtechs: there are 129 companies that together received $170.1 million in investments, based on rounds since 2009. Next come the startups that develop services for agribusiness, such as agfintechs, with 61 companies and $81.9 million raised. Next in the ranking are the automation agtechs: there are 52 companies of this type that, together, have already raised $40.4 million.
When looking at the stage of investments, it’s clear the growth potential of Brazilian agtechs: only the precision agriculture startups have already got to raise Series C, for example.
The report also points out three trends for this market: genetic manipulation and animal breeding from in vitro fertilization for meat production in laboratories. “The advantages of this technology would be countless, among them, the decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, less environmental impact (mainly related to deforestation for pasture areas), and adhesion to this type of product by the vegan audience”, says the study.
The other two trends are the regularization of the carbon market in Brazil, which should stimulate new solutions to make agribusiness carbon neutral; and the significant reduction of carbon dioxide emissions during the production of commodities.