Agtech on track for record year with $1.6 bln invested so far

Agtech continues to be a big draw for venture investors this year, with $1.6 billion pumped into deals worldwide through October, and 2018 is on course for another record.

Deal volume also appears as though it will be up this year, with 209 transactions, according to a market study by Finistere Ventures and PitchBook.

Helping to drive activity is an increase in late-stage transactions, where deal volume has risen for a second year as companies in the space reach expansion stage. Also of note is that the year has seen an increase in late-stage deals sizes and pre-money valuations while deal sizes and pre-money valuations at the early stage have declined, the study found.

Source: Finistere Ventures and PitchBook.

The median early-stage round slipped to $2.5 million as of October, compared with $4.95 million in 2017, and the median pre-money valuation sank to $10 million from $15.3 million in 2017.

Meanwhile, the median late-stage deal size rose to $10 million from $9 million and the median late-stage pre-money valuation jumped to $78 million, a record, from $50 million in 2017.

Crop protection and inputs management has been the sector to attract the most capital, or 36 percent of dollars invested, and plant science, the second. Other strong sectors this year are imagery, indoor agriculture and animal technologies.