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Châtenay-Malabry (FR - 92290), 27 May 2019

EFITA newsletter / 879 - European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment

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Audience Efita Newsletter - 878 - May 20, 2019
Voir Efita

4 Ways Artificial Intelligence Will Drive Digital Transformation In Agriculture, by Daniel Newman

AgFunder has just released the inaugural Europe AgriFood Tech Funding Report in collaboration with F&A Next

In 2018, European food tech and agtech startups raised $1.6 billion in funding across 421 deals. While this was on par with the total in 2017, there was 23% growth in the number of deals and the majority of activity took place at the earliest stages. This is exciting as it highlights the increasing number of entrepreneurs entering the industry, although there is a clear gap in later stage funding.

Even more noteworthy is the large 200% increase in funding to upstream startups - those operating closer to the farm or in the supply chain before the retailer. While our reporting might be slightly improved in 2018 due to our new data partnerships, there’s no doubt upstream innovation is rapidly picking up steam in Europe, particularly in farm software and sensing technologies, as well as robotics and novel farming systems. Downstream investment -- particularly food delivery -- shrank 50% as several startups in the category have exited via IPO and M&A.

The investor base supporting agrifood innovation is varied with only a few dedicated sector funds, but it’s growing and 603 unique investors made investments during the year.

"Indeed, more multistage investors are entering the Agrifood space, and in our programs we have been (fore) seeing and driving the trend for more high quaility Agtech startups,” says Jan Meiling from StartLife, a founder of F&A Next.

Here are some more highlights from the report that was exclusively presented and first distributed at F&A Next last week:

- $1.6 billion of funding in 2018 across 421 deals with 603 unique investors. This represents 9% of global funding.

- The food tech and agtech ecosystem in Europe is very diverse with a more even spread of funding across tech categories.

- Upstream startups raised $0.9 billion, a more respectable 13% share of the global upstream total. Upstream includes Ag Biotech, Farm Software, Farm Robotics, Midstream Tech, Innovative Food, Biomaterials, Novel Farming Systems and Agribusiness Marketplaces.

- Seed stage deals accounted for nearly 70% of deal flow, compared to 55% globally, and 15% of dollars invested compared to just 4% globally.

- The UK and France lead the way in terms of investment: $388m across 103 deals and $324m across 62 deals respectively.

- Italy was the third most active ecosystem with 31 deals, the vast majority at the seed and Series A stage.

-- CrowdCube, the UK crowdfunding platform, was the most active investor during the year making 13 bets while French firms followed with bpifrance making 11 and Seraphim 6.

- The exit landscape was bolstered by the $2.4bn acquisition of French digital livestock technology Antelliq by Germany’s Merck.

“The European food tech ecosystem lags other markets today. However, we have every reason to believe that a healthy funnel of promising earlier stage companies, growing investor activity and availability of corporate venture capital will close the gap rather sooner than later,” says Jeroen Leffelaar from Rabobank, another F&A Next founder.

Find out more about the key deals and investors driving Europe’s food tech and agtech sector here:

Download the FREE 67-page report here

Old good days by Camille Pissarro (1830-1903): Workers in the Fields


Airbus satellite imagery in Climate FieldView

Airbus Defence and Space and The Climate Corporation (Climate, part of Bayer) announced a new global agreement to deliver Airbus satellite imagery to farmers through The Climate Corporation’s Climate FieldView platform.

Toyota develops real-time soil sensor

Toyota develops a real-time soil sensor to diagnose soil characteristics and propose improvements.
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) begins field trials of a new support service that uses data from real-time visualisation of soil components during agricultural land analysis to diagnose soil characteristics and propose improvements.

7 Top Agtech Startups Defining the Future of Agriculture

AgriFood tech is a maturing market, as evidenced by the swell in investing activity last year. Startups in the space attracted nearly $17 billion in investment capital–a 43% increase from the previous year, according to data from AgFunder. But as companies grow, and the deal sizes grow with them, it pays to keep an eye on what new innovations are coming down the pipeline.

Future Food: How Whole Foods’ Walter Robb Thinks About Food Tech and The Future of Grocery

There’s perhaps no deal more representative of the changes taking place in the food system, and the meeting of technology and food, than Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods in 2017. A surprise move to many but one that solved particular challenges for both players: Amazon got access to a high-quality fresh food brand and supply chain, and Whole Foods became digitized.

Walter Robb, the former co-CEO of Whole Foods, was a key player through the transaction and for many years at Whole Foods before it.

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Next Efita
in Greece in 2019!

2019 Efita International Conference

27-29 June - RHODES - Greece

The topics for the EFITA 2019 conference are detailed below within topic groups.

Topic group 1: “Sensors”
This topic group refers to the development or optimization of sensors and electronics for agricultural applications, such as field scouting and crop parameters monitoring. Particular sub-topics could be:
- New sensors (optical, reflectance, etc.)
- Wireless sensor networks
- Image processing

Agricultural robots are also within this topic, focusing on automation and control technologies to optimise robotic applications in agriculture. Particular sub-topics could be:
- Scouting Robots
- Action Robots
- Machine embedded ICT tools

Topic group 2: “Data”
This topic group is related to all technologies and software that cure data mining, data warehousing, visualisation, knowledge extraction, big data management. Particular sub-topics could be:
- Big data management
- Data mining for agricultural information systems
- Data visualisation
- Data and Knowledge Management for extension services (with real examples)

Other subjects within this topic are interoperability, semantics and knowledge management, such as:
- Metadata and data standards in agriculture
- Thesaurus management, Knowledge management
- Ontologies for agriculture
- Knowledge bases and Knowledge repository services
- Web of Data, Linked Open Data

Topic group 3: “Decision”
This topic group is about modelling for simulation, prediction, crop management, design of ICT-intensive farming systems. Proposed sub-topics are:
- Modelling and Simulation for agricultural production and farming systems
- Weather prediction models for sustainable agricultural production
- Multi-Agent systems

Other “Decision” scientific work is about remote sensing, GIS technologies and spatial management of resources. It includes sub-topics such as:
- Remote Sensing and GIS applications
- Planning tools
- Environmental information systems and Environmental management systems
- ICT applications for natural resources management, including forestry
- ICT applications for sustainable biomass production and use

Finally, ICT applications regarding economical, organizational and business implications in agriculture are also used for business decision making. Such ICT tools are divided in:
- Decision Support Systems for Agriculture
- ICT applications for food chain and logistics
- Traceability tools
- ICT and business
- Rural economies and ICT policies for rural development

Topic group 4: “Action”
This topic group is mainly about design of ICT applications for agriculture and sustainability focusing on precision and knowledge intensive agriculture. It includes sub-topics such as:
- Computer tools for farming
- Models of farming activity
- Scientific computing applied to crop management
-Expert systems in agriculture

This topic group is also about web technologies and networking of actors all along the value chain of agriculture. It includes sub-topics such as:
- On line farm services
- Web applications (clients, devices, server-side)
- Cloud computing applications
- Social Networking, collaborative tools and crowdsourcing
- Tools for e-agribusiness

See efita2019

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Contact: Guy WAKSMAN
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