In a more subdued China, venture funding for agtech soars

Despite signs of a slowing market for venture investing in China, agtech funding soared during 2018, with larger rounds providing a lift to capital deployed.

Investors pumped $5.8 billion into young companies, a giant leap from $1.8 billion in 2017, according to AgFunder.

Deal volume rose at a slower 60 percent pace to 283 deals, with only the seed stage not growing.

Large deals help elevate the quarter. Food-delivery company Meituan-Diangping gathered $1.5 billion in a Series F round and in September listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

MissFresh and Meicai also both raised $450 million.

Slightly more than 80 percent of investment dollars went to consumer-oriented initiatives, such as online restaurants, e-grocery companies, market places and retail-focused ventures, Agfunder reported.

But backing for supply side technologies, such as ag biotech, farm management software, farming robotics and food innovation grew faster.

Three out of five Series D deals closed at or above $450 million, Agfunder said.

The year saw five IPOs and 14 acquisitions in the space.