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Powering Growth in AgTech – 12 months on

Powering Growth in AgTech – 12 months on

In 2016 StartupAUS and KPMG released Powering Growth, a report detailing the potential for agtech in Australia. A year on, we provide an update on the state of play in the sector.

Ben van Delden

Partner, Management Consulting, Head of AgriFood Tech and Circular Economy Advisory

KPMG Australia


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Momentum has developed quickly within the Australian agtech ecosystem. Since releasing Powering Growth in September 2016, there has been an increase in capital invested into startups, the emergence of several agtech incubators and accelerators, and numerous summits focused on showcasing Australian agtech startups and connecting the sector to investors. There are also encouraging signs from the federal and state governments to make it easier for entrepreneurs to access cash and support.

Powering Growth provided 12 recommendations across three key themes – Capital, Connectivity, and Direction.

Here we’ve produced a snapshot of some of the key activities and initiatives over the past 12 months within Australia’s agtech ecosystem. There is growing interest and focus on agtech with industry, government, investors, corporates and farmers driving significant innovation, focus and funding. Real momentum has been generated in the sector, with agtech enabling the agrifood industry to grow to $100 billion in export earnings by 2030.

Following are some of the many highlights in agtech over the last 12 months.


  • $4.3m Accelerating Commercialisation Grants to eight agtech startups
  • $10m SproutX accelerator supported by Artesian Capital
  • $6.5m Series A raised by The Yield
  • $2m seed round raised by Agersens
  • $4m Series B raised by Agworld
  • Observant acquired by Jain Irrigations
  • Swarmfarm announced Adama as a global partner


  • Food Agility CRC launched and aims to empower Australia’s food industry through digital technology – $200m committed funds and 50 partners.
  • RaboBank ‘FoodBytes’ was held in Sydney attracting 1,600 attendees – the first time FoodBytes was held outside the USA.


  • $45m Victorian government ‘Connecting Regional Communities Program’ aimed at improving digital infrastructure.
  • A range of agtech accelerators, incubators and collaboration hubs have launched including NSW DPI initiative the GATE.
  • US Venture Capital agtech tour hosted by Austrade with Finistere Ventures and Cultivian Sandbox.
  • AgFutures conference hosted by QLD government.
  • AICC, Startup Catalyst and Austrade have led agtech missions to Israel.
  • Bridge summit connecting Israel-Australia startups and investors.

Download StartupAUS report

Download StartupAUS’s Crossroads report to understand the state of play of the tech startup ecosystem in Australia, including agtech.

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