It’s been a year of contrasts for CEA investment, with big funding rounds overshadowed by high-profile closures. Indoor farms are fighting hard to maintain profitability amid the energy crisis and ongoing supply chain disruptions. So, what will the new CEA landscape look like, and are investor approaches changing? 

At the Indoor AgTech Innovation Summit (June 29-30), leading financiers will share their assessment of the market, where they see opportunities for collaboration, and what it takes for a CEA start-up to thrive.

To set the scene for vital conversations in New York, we asked seasoned investors from Nomura GreenTech, S2G Ventures and The Rise Fund for their financial perspectives.

Maya Chorengel, Co-Managing Partner, THE RISE FUND: “The CEA sector benefits from meaningful market tailwinds with growth potential beyond field grown produce due to increasing demand from retailers for quality, reliability, and sustainability, among considerations. The CEA industry, which is still in early innings in many geographies and sectors, and has been characterized by a proliferation of companies, will experience consolidation amidst this market growth. Emerging companies with a deep focus on differentiation, dependability and on sustainable unit economics will not only survive but thrive.”

David Verbitsky, MD, Head of AgTech & Sustainable Food, NOMURA GREENTECH: “Assessing CEA investments has become much simpler for investors because we focus on the production economics and company financials, whilst technology and commercial have been de-risked. Crops of all varieties can be grown efficiently indoors and strong customer sales with food retailers will enter into more and longer off-take agreements that show strong commercial and demand side support. The question is the supply side, who can produce their product economically and how will this lead to positive free cash flows?”

Walter Robb, Senior Executive Partner, S2G VENTURES & Former Co-CEO, WHOLE FOODS, USA: “There is work to do in building our future food supply, and capital investments will be necessary to help refine business models and build capacity, while also offering real returns. Innovative food production methods that offer good quality products that customers want at affordable price points will be critical, as long as the solutions are better than the traditional ones when it comes to sustainability. Cellular agriculture, land-based aquaculture and decentralized supply chains are all emerging opportunities, but I’m particularly excited about CEA, with leading edge companies starting to find ways to deliver great produce at more compelling price points, all while tackling water use, land use, and carbon foodprint.”

We look forward to hearing more from our investors on the panel: ‘Finding Funding in a Challenging Economic Environment.’ on Thursday June 29 at 4.45pm EST. Book your place now to join them.