Investment in Europe’s upstream startups in the agri-food tech industry (including AgTech, novel farming, midstream technologies, and biomaterials) was nearly $1 billion in 2018 – a 200% increase year-over-year.

The new information comes from AgFunder’s first report on European Agrifood tech.

Overall, European agrifood technology startups raised $1.6B. But this doesn’t represent any growth – the same value was raised in 2017.

The story is different for upstream companies – those that are closer to the farm or grower in the supply chain. These startups got 56% of all the investment in the industry, a 200% increase from 2017.

This represents “a break from the global industry where downstream continues to dominate with the proliferation of food delivery startups in all corners of the globe,” according to AgFunder.

Farm management software, sensing, and farm robotics & equipment startups had their funding increase over 500% in 2018.

Despite this growth, Europe is still playing catch up when it comes to agrifood tech investment, says AgFunder.

The region’s investment volume in this area is still modest – just 9% of global investment -, there are still few investors fully dedicated to the sector, and there’s a greater risk aversion.