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Emerging Tech Research: Agtech

Q1 2021

Emerging Tech Research: Agtech

May 28, 2021

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The coronavirus pandemic revealed major vulnerabilities in agricultural supply chains, and highlighted the need for automation and stronger safety measures. Venture funding for agtech startups hit $1.5 billion in the first quarter of 2021, marking the fourth straight quarter of the vertical pulling in at least $1.5 billion.

Our latest installment of Emerging Tech Research explores the major trends that shaped this space in Q1, including optimism around pollination tools and shelf-life extension technologies.

Key takeaways

  • An emerging cohort of companies is developing shelf-life extension technologies to prolong freshness, reduce food waste, and improve margins for growers.
  • Growers are recognizing the importance of pollination and are seeking out tools and services such as rental bee colonies and artificial pollination methods. 
  • Widespread labor shortages have led to a rise in the development of harvest robots. The technology involves the use of computer vision, 3D perception, and AI to identify, assess, and pick crops.