Neil Patel

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Securing early-stage funding for startups in the agritech space is steadily becoming streamlined as agriculture undergoes radical transformations. The sector is witnessing a shift toward sustainable techniques for producing food and serving the ever-burgeoning human population.

Even as the worldwide demand for food, fuel, and fiber grows, so does the trend toward using green farming methods. Consumers and scientists are innovating sustainable practices that will preserve the soil and minimize damage to the environment.

With consumers demanding food grown organically, without the addition of chemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides, the agriculture sector must adapt. That’s where technology steps in–to improve farming methods that will optimize production and infuse efficiency.

The focus is also on processing and packaging technology to sustain supply chains and ensure there will be minimum disruptions. The COVID pandemic demonstrated how farmers had to destroy whole supplies of milk. They lacked proper packaging solutions to deliver them to consumers.

And that’s just one example. Moving forward, experts estimate that the agritech market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.33%. The time frame for this growth is 2022 to 2028, and the industry will touch $49,211.55M in 2028.

By 2032, this figure is expected to cross $75,872.5M. If you’re considering building an agritech startup in 2024, this year is an excellent time to pitch for funding, expertise, and know-how.

You’ll address the need for technology in the agricultural sector by providing innovative solutions. Read ahead for an overview of how to make that happen.

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The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks

Early-Stage Funding for Startups in the Agritech Space – Why Now is the Right Time

Upcoming entrepreneurs are coming up with cutting-edge technologies that have the potential to evoke radical changes in the agritech space. This sector has a broad range of applications, such as vertical farming, genetic engineering, data analytics, automation, and precision farming, for starters.

Biotechnology and biochemicals, sensors and connected devices, and big data are also sectors to explore. These innovations can improve areas like farming, irrigation, marketing, production, storage, packaging, maintenance, and securing supply chains.

Agritech is particularly crucial since the farming sector is facing critical challenges. The key factors include soil degradation, water scarcity, climate change, and rising costs of inputs. Disruptive technologies can overcome these challenges and ensure sustainable and uninterrupted supplies.

The global population will likely cross 9.7 billion by 2050, which raises the pressure on the agritech sector. Production must ramp up to feed the billions on the planet. Entrepreneurs are rising to the challenge, with more than 6,000 new ventures appearing on the agritech landscape.

The average funding is an estimated $13.4M over 36,000 funding rounds. This figure indicates that investors are confident about the sector’s potential. More than 52,800 patents have been filed, and more than 10,000 investors are active in agritech.

For starters, you can consider reaching out to individual angel investors and large venture capital firms. Government grants, small business loans, accelerators, and incubators are also likely to extend support. Read ahead to know more.

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Venture Capital Firms

Venture capital firms are excellent sources of early-stage funding for startups in the agritech space. These firms are open to offering money to high-performance startups. Getting approval indicates that your concept has potential.

VCs are interested in agricultural technology because of its high demand, which will translate into high profits and rapid scalability. This is why they are open to offering not just financial backing but also networking opportunities within the vertical.

You can also expect industry-specific expertise and mentoring with higher funding mounts than angel investors. This factor can be a positive since startups undertaking R&D efforts typically need higher capital amounts.

For instance, ideating innovative farming solutions needs the investment of funds to develop the infrastructure. You’ll also need to purchase equipment, hardware, and software to create the IP. Testing the prototypes and refining the solutions into market-ready products also needs capital.

In exchange, VCs expect an equity share and, possibly, a board seat with decision-making powers. However, if you can demonstrate a groundbreaking IP, they will be open to supporting your company.

For instance, a revolutionary irrigation system, high-yielding seeds, and vertical farming methods.

Partnering with a reputable VC firm will give you access to capital to scale operations and growth. You can recruit top-notch talent and acquire IP and technical skills.

Industry connections and the potential for strategic alliances are also made available to promising founders.

Some examples of top VCs that invest in agritech startups include AF Ventures, S2G Ventures, and Ananda Impact Ventures. Also, try AgriTech Hub, Capagro, Five Seasons Ventures, Bits x Bites, Fall Line Capital, VegInvest, and Atlantic Food Labs. All of these are great sources of early-stage funding for startups in the agritech space.

Angel Investors

Angel investors are typically high-net-worth individuals you can connect with for support and funding. You can rely on them for more than just capital backing because of their personal interest in the sector. They’ll offer you expertise, connections, and the opportunity to network with other investors.

When securing early-stage funding for startups, you’ll research angels that specifically support new agritech ventures. They may be also impact investors geared toward startups that commit to bringing about positive changes in the farming sector.

Rely on their mentoring and knowledge of farming techniques or technology that can improve them. Such angels may actively seek out entrepreneurs who demonstrate the dedication and capabilities to develop disruptive concepts. Expect to offer equity in exchange for the capital they provide.

Some of the top angel investor networks you can contact include AgFunder, SVG Ventures, Climate Smart Agriculture Angel Network, and the Yield Lab. Also, sign up on platforms like SeedInvest, Gust, and AngelList that connect founders with angel investors.

These entities are actively searching for early-stage ventures to invest in. Leveraging the platform allows you to exhibit your agritech solution and demonstrate its benefits. Interest investors can connect with founders, and the platform also assists in the funding procedure.

Regardless of the investors you’re reaching out to, the first step is always to have a compelling pitch deck ready. Check out this video, where I have explained how to create a pitch deck that will have investors reaching for their checkbooks right away.


Crowdfunding Platforms

Several crowdfunding platforms are now available to get capital for your fledgling startup. Think options like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, where you can craft and broadcast an interesting campaign. These platforms have small individual investors who may support your company with small funds.

You’ll attract funders who share your enthusiasm and passion for the concept you’re developing. New and upcoming agrotech startups that find it challenging to raise funding from traditional sources can consider this option.

Before signing up on a platform, you’ll research details like its target audience and the pros it offers to entrepreneurs. For instance, Indiegogo serves a broad range of business verticals, but Kickstarter is more focused on innovative projects and creativity.

Read up on the ongoing projects that investors have backed before publishing your agritech concept and campaigning for money. You’ll start by designing a compelling pitch complete with information about your vision and mission statement.

Also, include hi-def images and videos to demonstrate how your product or prototype works and the benefits it has. You’ll add details about the core team, their talents, skill sets, and success stories. If you have collaborated with renowned entities from the industry previously, add the data.

Also, talk about any endorsements and reviews you may have received from notable people or consumers. The objective is to demonstrate that you have a credible business plan that has validation for success. Reaching out to a wider pool of investors raises your chances of accessing capital.

Offering incentives and rewards for their investment is a sure-shot way of getting backing. For instance, say you’re developing a new kind of seed. Consider adding small packs as demo versions that your audience can try growing.

Agritech-Focused Competitions

If you have a product prototype ready, research agritech-focused competitions for founders. Several impact foundations and organizations arrange these contests and offer cash prizes and other perks to winners.

Their objective is to encourage small entrepreneurs to develop innovations to benefit the community. Aside from capital, you can also expect assistance with networking opportunities and a platform for demonstrating your product.

Mentoring and connecting with other entrepreneurs in your space for future collaborations are other benefits to look forward to. Even if you don’t win the prize, the exposure to the ecosystem is a huge advantage. Food+City Startup Challenge is a great option that invites entries from urban food systems.

Researching the space will reveal that there are several such events throughout the year in different parts of the world. Pick out the event that is suitable for your startup and apply for a place.

Some of the most prestigious events include:

  • The 4th Fermentation-Enabled Alternative Protein Summit in San Francisco
  • Plant-Based Foods & Proteins Course in Wageningen, considered an epicenter of FoodTech
  • The World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit in San Francisco
  • American Food Innovate Summit in Atlanta
  • Bridge2Food PB Foods & Proteins Summit Americas in Minneapolis
  • The Future of Protein Production in Chicago
  • Vegan Women Summit in California. This event supports underrepresented groups and invites women to showcase their ideas.
  • Future Food-Tech Alternative Proteins in San Francisco


Keep in mind that in fundraising, storytelling is everything. In this regard, for a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.

Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.

Incubator and Accelerator Programs

Several organizations have incubator and accelerator programs to support budding entrepreneurs in the farming technology sector. Their objective is to promote new innovations by offering seed money, workshops, equipment, tools, and technical know-how.

Getting approved for the program is challenging, and the screening process is rigorous. However, founders who get into the program can walk away with investor backing and validation for their ideas. Many entrepreneurs may also have a market-ready prototype and marketing game plan at the end.

Both incubators and accelerators provide access to a network of industry experts, angel investors, and prominent VCs. Building relationships with them ensures successful fundraising in the later stages of your company’s growth.

For starters, you’ll zero in on investors interested in early-stage funding for startups in the agritech space. Before applying to a particular incubator or accelerator, research the benefits they offer and their terms and conditions. Some programs may require a share in your company’s equity.

Don’t hesitate to apply to multiple programs consistently each year. That will raise your chances of getting approved into a great program.
Some excellent examples include:

  • The Yield Lab is an accelerator program that offers the typical boost to promising concepts. In addition, the program connects founders to potential customers.
  • The Western Growers Innovation & Technology Center is a platform where startups can partner with packers, growers, and transporters.
  • Iowa AgriTech Accelerator is based in Des Moines, Iowa, and is specifically geared toward agriculture, agritech, tech, and finance.
  • Venture Pad Impact Accelerator in San Francisco supports startups without requiring them to cede equity. This program supports startups working in regenerative, circular, and sustainable business ecosystems.
  • BlueSwell Incubator supports startups working toward sustainable ocean-based products and improving ocean health.

Getting Early-Stage Funding for Agritech Startups

All founders devise strategies for reaching out to potential investors to get early-stage funding for startups in the agritech space. But before you get going with designing the perfect pitch, you’ll create a mission statement and business plan.

Get started with identifying the particular problem you hope to address and how the technology you develop is a solution. The agritech sector has the potential for a broad range of applications, tools, equipment, software, hardware, and much more.

This business vertical has tremendous scope, from agricultural inputs to platforms to connect farmers with buyers. Other ideas you can explore include microbial nitrogen technology and indoor farming techniques for growing vegetables, berries, and fresh greens.

Aside from new farming techniques and applications for digitization, innovators are exploring the possibility of farming in new locations. For instance, growing crops like radishes, strawberries, sweet peppers, and cherry tomatoes in the arid regions of the Middle East and Northern Europe.

With investors supportive of disruptive concepts, this is the right time to dive into agritech innovations and build a thriving business. You only need to come up with the IP, and investors will provide the ideal launch pad to get the startup off the ground.

You may find interesting as well our free library of business templates. There, you will find every single template you will need when building and scaling your business completely for free. See it here.

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Neil Patel

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If you want help with your fundraising or acquisition, just book a call

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