The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 caused many challenges for the food supply chain, but also many opportunities. AgFunder, a venture capital firm investing in agriculture, analyzed the 2020 startup and tech funding trends.
Last year, COVID-19 increased the online grocery category as consumers were forced in many cases to turn to online shopping to fulfill their everyday grocery needs. Two of the year's largest deals went to an eGrocer: China's Missfresh, which banked $495 million in July from investors, followed by a $306 million injection from Chinese state-linked funds.
Other big eGrocery funding deals include Instacart, BigBasket in India, and other online grocery startups. Likewise, online meal delivery apps also attracted major funding during the year.
U.S.-based DoorDash raised $400 million during the first half of 2020, before going public in a blockbuster $71 billion IPO. Another effect of the pandemic and lockdowns is an increased interest in technologies that takes human out of the process, whether it be farming, manufacturing, or logistics.