The UK and Europe are leading the way for global agri-tech investments, having received nearly £81 billion from over 1,700 investors, according to a new report from IP specialists GovGrant.
The report highlights that global investment in agri-tech is growing, almost doubling to £100 billion between January 2020 and January 2021. Since 2000 – when worldwide investment stood at less than £1 billion – companies headquartered in the UK and mainland Europe have attracted over 43% of global investment in agri-tech.
The UK specialises in indoor farming and animal agri-tech, which accounts for around 40% of its investment, whereas in Europe or globally, they make up under 10%. The report says there is ‘great potential’ for UK growth and differentiation in indoor farming and animal agri-tech. For example, indoor farming, involves components, systems and growers that are all focused on farming indoors, including tech contributing to vertical farming, aquaponics and hydroponics.
Adam Simmonds, research associate at GovGrant, said the rise in UK agri-tech investment in recent years was ‘nothing short of remarkable’.
“As the world faces surging food demand, it’s also becoming increasingly urgent to curb emissions from food production,” he explained. “This combination of factors only makes the case for agri-tech more compelling, so we can expect even more investment.”
Mr Simmonds said venture capital would account for most of the early investment, particularly for agri-tech startups. “Then, private equity investors will come on board to help thriving companies grow,” he added. “It all points to more-than-healthy growth for the sector.”