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APAC’s Novel Farming Systems: AgFunder Data Reveals Growth Beyond Leafy Greens

According to AgFunder’s first-ever Asia-Pacific AgriFoodtech Investment Report, Novel farming systems firms in the region raised a total of $91 million in 2021. This category includes according to AgFunder, CEA but also tech-enabled insect, seafood, cannabis, and algae production. AgFunder nonetheless expects Novel farming systems are poised to grow as the need for alternative farming systems, labor shortages and crop losses rise in the region. For example, due to two rounds of investment from the start-up indoor farming company N.THING, Korea raised the most money of any APAC nation. India raised $17.9 million by closing the most agreements in the category across a variety of forms. Three Singaporean firms raised a total of $10.1 million in investment in 2021.

Novel Farming Systems, as defined by AgFunder, include controlled environment agriculture (such as vertical farms and greenhouses) as well as tech-enabled insect, seafood, cannabis, and algae production. In 2021, Asian startups in this category raised a total of $91 million, according to AgFunder’s first-ever Asia-Pacific AgriFoodtech Investment Report. AgFunder expects nonetheless the category to further grow in the years to come: “It’s a small slice of the region’s overall agrifood tech investment pie, but the category is poised to grow thanks to the need for alternative farming systems, labor shortages, and crop losses, to name a few.” Jennifer Marston writes in an AgFunder News article

The country that raised the most funding in this category was South Korea, thanks to two rounds from indoor farming startup N.THING. India had the most deals in the category and the second-highest in venture capital funds, with $17.9 million. China came in next, with $15.7 million, followed by Australia’s $13.1 million. Singapore, with a long history in urban farming, had three startups raise funding in 2021, for a total of $10.1 million.

APAC’s top deals in the Novel Farming Systems category demonstrate that there is more to this category than just growing leafy greens indoors. With an increasing demand for greater food security and traceability, the size of funding rounds in this category is expected to grow. The technologies and systems in this field are maturing and the focus areas are diverse, including algae production, shrimp farming, insects, and waste-to-fertilizer systems.

Image provided by N.Thing

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