Overview of the Agtech Industry in Southern California, Nevada and Arizona

Executive Summary

This report provides an overview of the United States (U.S.) agricultural technology industry (known as AgTech), with particular focus on Southern California, Arizona, and Nevada. AgTech encompasses technologies developed with the intent to improve yield, efficiency, and profitability, and is composed of the following segments: plant sciences, animal technologies, imagery, sensors and smart farm equipment, precision agriculture, agriculture marketplaces and fintech, indoor agriculture, and crop protection. This report discusses key segments and emerging technologies in AgTech, identifies the key drivers of the industry, describes industry trends, provides key investors, and describes key players in the agricultural supply chain that may serve as potential buyers of AgTech.

The key segments in AgTech include indoor agriculture and crop protection and input management. Indoor farming is the fastest growing AgTech segment, receiving nearly 50% more funding in 2019 than 2018. The crop protection and input management segment is the largest overall, with a global value of $58 billion as of 2019. This report defines all AgTech segments and identifies key companies within each space. Emerging technologies in the industry include biotechnology, nanotechnology, and farm management software.

Three key drivers of the industry identified were:

In the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for AgTech solutions by disrupting global food chains and labor supplies.

In California, labor shortages, pests and invasive species, consumer preferences, and environmental threats are all driving AgTech growth. AgTech is vital to ensure the agricultural system can produce more food with fewer resources so farmers can maintain profitability.

Industry trends show tremendous growth in the past decade, with $10.4 billion in venture capital generated by the industry from 2010-2019 and a projected growth rate of 58% per year. AgTech companies in the SoCal region have received significant capital investment of $792 million since 2010. The most prevalent AgTech companies in the region focus on indoor agriculture or crop protection and input management, which aligns with the overall growth in these two categories. Sensors and smart farm equipment companies are also prevalent in Southern California.

AgTech is primarily funded by key investors based in the U.S. such as Cultivian Sandbox Ventures, which had the most active deals, followed by Seed 2 Growth Ventures (S2V) and Finistere Ventures. Other investment leaders include Leaps by Bayer, Syngenta Ventures, and Temasek. This report identifies top AgTech investors along with specific California-based AgTech investment firms and provide contact information for 132 AgTech investors.

This report describes key supply chain players (producers, processors, and distributors) for the three largest agricultural sectors in Southern California: dairy, lettuce, and other specialty crops. We identify AgTech solutions for each sector, including sensing technologies, data analytics platforms, farm robotics, and animal technologies.

Lastly, we provide a listing of 20 major AgTech events across the U.S. and Canada that can help strengthen stakeholders’ industry knowledge and expand networks.

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