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Climate tech investors pivot to ag tech

Illustration of a spot on a cow shaped like a dollar sign.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Ag tech investment boomed through Q1, per data from PitchBook.

By the numbers: VC firms in Q1 raised $3.3 billion for ag tech — a 15.5% increase from Q4. This includes 222 deals, up 3.7% from the prior quarter.

Driving the news: Agriculture isn't immune from surging commodity prices — think fuel, chemicals and machine parts. But prices are soaring for what farms are selling, namely corn and soybeans.

Some familiar names: Lowercarbon Capital, Generate, Acre Venture Partners and S2G Ventures were among Q1 ag tech investors.

Zoom out: The war in Ukraine, a top wheat and corn exporter, has brought new focus on food security.

  • Meanwhile, agriculture accounted for 11% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, per the EPA.

Yes, but: An outsize share of investment dollars is going to e-grocers and other ag tech sectors that are — at best — only tangentially related to sustainability, per analyses in March and June from AgFunder News.

  • Agrifinance and e-commerce, as well as indoor farming, saw the greatest deal count and deal value in Q1.
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