Agri-foodtech startups have raised $940 million across 129 deals in 2023, which is 60 per cent lower than in 2022. The number of deals remained near flat, compared with 133 deals in 2022, indicating smaller deal sizes.

“The year saw more early-stage deals than in 2022, indicating continued interest by investors in the category but at much lower valuations than in previous years,” a report by AgFunder and Omnivore said.

 “The global downturn in agrifood investments is attributed to fewer and smaller deals, but the situation in India indicates a fundamental shift. Although the number of deals remains nearly unchanged, the investment approach in India has become more selective and merit-based, suggesting a gradual and promising revival of the sector,” Louisa Burwood-Taylor, Managing Editor of AgFunder News, said.

Unlike in the global market, however, funds raised by Indian agrifood startups were not far below the $1.3 billion garnered pre-Covid in 2019, suggesting normalisation of market conditions after a period of excessive valuations. 

E-grocery takes lion’s share

The e-grocery category in India was still the most funded, though it received 46 per cent less year-on-year at $420 million. Agribusiness and fintech were next with $162 million funding, which was lower by 62 per cent year-on-year.

“Together, e-grocery and agri marketplaces and fintech accounted for 62 per cent of the capital raised in 2023,” according to the sixth India AgriFoodTech Investment Report.

The median deal size dropped significantly year-on-year across stages and especially at late-stage. While deal sizes in early stage (seed and Series A) fell by 50 per cent, in the growth stage (Series B and Series C) it declined by 39 per cent and in the later phase (Series D and beyond) by a whopping 89 per cent.

“Despite a decrease in median deal sizes, the willingness to invest persists, although at lower ticket sizes, with agri marketplaces and e-grocery receiving the most attention again,” the report said.

Off the limelight

All parts of the supply chain received substantially less funding in 2023 than a year ago, with midstream startups faring the worst with a decrease of 80 per cent.

In the later-stage many startups raised follow-on bridge capital in 2023, resulting in smaller deals. This is in line with global agri-foodtech later-stage investment trends, where overall valuations have been severely corrected.

Mark Kahn, Managing Partner of Omnivore, believes that realistic valuations have returned, reflecting the operational and financial achievements of the companies.

“From unbridled growth strategies, the focus is squarely on prioritising building a strong business model, focusing on profitability, and creating value for customers and stakeholders,” he said.


“Like in 2023, this year will be a great vintage year to invest in promising startups, especially for founders who are building differentiated and unit economically viable businesses from the beginning,” Kahn said.

A concerning trend is the limited participation of agrifood investors, with Omnivore being one of the few remaining, alongside generalist and climate-focused VCs. This scenario underscores the need for more committed investors across all stages, the report said.