Ag Biotech, which includes on-farm inputs for crop & animal ag including genetics, microbiome, breeding, animal health, cooled down in 2019 compared to prior years. Startups in the category raised $1.1 billion in funding, according to Agri-FoodTech Investing Report, but deal activity dropped 22% year-over-year while dollar investment declined 33%. Despite the slow down, Ag Biotech was still one of the prevailing segments in seed stage activity and the most active upstream category indicating continued investor interest.
Gene editing took center stage with Inscripta and Inari leading the charts with the two top fundings for the year. Boulder, CO-based Inscripta completed two raises last year. The startup aims to democratize gene-editing by selling equipment to researchers and giving away enzymes for free. The Flagship-founded company brought in Dubai’s sovereign wealth fund, Asia’s EDBI, and Acre Venture Partners as investors in the round.
Novel crop protection technologies also showed growth last year with Provivi, Vstaron, AgroSavfe (now biotalys), and Greenlight completing raises.
Here are the top 20 Ag Biotech deals of 2019: