Jul 22, 2019

Investments in agrifood tech are taking off

Reproduced from an AgFunder report; Chart: Axios Visuals

An example of a growing new food industry seeing burgeoning growth is agrifood tech — companies aiming to improve or disrupt the global food and agriculture industry. Companies in the space are already a mature market for venture capitalists and deals have consistently gotten bigger in recent years, data shows.

Details: In 2017 and 2018, the largest venture deals across the food and agriculture supply chain were in the food delivery segment.

  • U.S.-based food delivery company Instacart saw a $600 million Series E funding round last year that followed a $400 million Series D funding in 2017.
  • Brazil's restaurant marketplace iFood garnered a $590 million funding round last year, the country's largest ever.
  • India's Swiggy, an online market for restaurants, is now valued at $3.3 billion after a $660 million investment from South Africa's Naspers.

What they're saying: "Until now, multinational corporations have exerted tremendous influence on what people eat and how staple food and food ingredients are procured and transported," UBS global wealth management analysts wrote in a recent white paper titled "The food revolution."

  • Today, however, "shifting demand patterns are disrupting the industry and forcing big food companies and traders to scramble to stay ahead of consumers."
  • "This move is being funded by some of the wealthiest individuals and corporations in the world."

Go deeper: Investors are missing out on the food revolution

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Food bought from American farmers to offset trade war pain will go to school cafeterias

Photo: Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

School cafeterias are set to receive free food purchased by the Department of Agriculture to relieve farmers hurt by the U.S-China trade war, the AP reports.

The big picture: The USDA has spent $1.2 billion to buy up food to redistribute to nutrition programs through "trade mitigation" — long part of its practices to help farmers, though usually on a far smaller scale — as part of the $16 billion aid package for farmers hit hard by retaliatory tariffs.

Go deeperArrowAug 12, 2019

Fast food's digital revolution is bringing all-time high stock prices

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Investors are scrambling to get their hands on next-generation meatless and agrifood technology companies, but the past couple of years have proven very lucrative for old-fashioned fast-food chains.

Why it matters: While legacy brands like Kraft Heinz and Campbell's are losing market share as consumers' tastes and shopping habits change, fast-food legacy names like McDonald's and KFC/Taco Bell owner YUM! Brands are seeing all-time high stock prices.

Go deeperArrowJul 30, 2019

Investors are missing out on the food revolution

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The way people eat is changing, which means there is a giant market ripe for disruption and money to be made. However, most investors won't profit from the disruption because very few of the companies driving the change are public and that's unlikely to change anytime soon.

Why it matters: The lack of public opportunities to invest in food disruption despite the ravenous demand is the latest example of the broken U.S. capital market structure SEC chair Jay Clayton bemoaned at the annual Investment Company Institute meeting in May, noting that around 98% of American households have no access to private markets.

Go deeperArrowJul 22, 2019