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Agritech came through Covid well - TIN report

Peter Griffin, Contributor. 17 June 2021, 1:45 pm

New Zealand's agritech sector appears to have navigated the disruption of Covid-19 well, growing export revenue 7.5% and increasing R&D by 7%.

The Technology Investment Network's (TIN) second snapshot of the local agritech scene shows the industry is still dominated by two large players, Gallagher and livestock Improvement Corp. (LIC) which generate over $550 million in annual revenue between them and represent 40% of the revenue of the TIN200 agritech companies. 

But the sector is diversifying and growing, with a host of start-ups driving new areas of innovation from genetics and precision agriculture to remote monitoring and animal tracking technology.

TIN says the number of agritech companies on the TIN200 increased from 20 to 22 in 2020, with 111 early-stage agritech companies identified in the sector. High-tech manufacturers such as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare still dominate the TIN companies in general, but ICT companies are increasingly making their mark.

Key highlights of the TIN NZ Agritech Insights Report

- 11% of TIN200 companies are Agritech firms, and together they generated $1.4B in revenue in 2020; 10.8% of the total TIN200 revenue
- TIN200 Agritech companies generated $69.4m growth; 7.1% of TIN200 growth
- Total Agritech exports: $790.4m (57.5% of total export revenue)
- Export growth: $54.9m (up 7.5% on 2019)
- North America is the largest export market for Agritech (24.9% of total export revenue), followed by Australia (11.2% of total export revenue)
- Average sector wage: $93,910 (TIN200 average wage: $82,540)
- Average revenue per employee: $285,089 (TIN200 average: $230,410)
- Investment in Sales and Marketing: $192.1m (up 2.2% on 2019)
- Investment in R&D: $104.1m (up 7% on 2019)
- Average company age: 25 years (TIN200 average: 28 years)
- 5-year CAGR: 8.0% (TIN200 5-year CAGR: 9.3%)
- Nearly 5,000 people employed globally with 73.3% of those in New Zealand (3,502 people)
- Auckland is the region with the highest number of Agritech companies (38); followed by Central North Island (25), Hamilton/Waikato (21) and Canterbury/Upper South Island (20)

Launching the report at Fieldays 2021 yesterday, TIN managing director Greg Shanahan said that with Covid continuing to disrupt supply chains and labour markets, New Zealand's agritech players had a great opportunity to put themselves forward as "both problem solvers and profitable investments".

Venture capital investment in tech sectors across the board also held up in a year of uncertainty, increasing to $127 million from $120 million, while angel investment rose to $!60 million from $108 million. 


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