Animal Agtech Market Map: 95 startups innovating for the livestock farming industry

September 23, 2019


Editor’s Note: Mareese Keane, the platform director of THRIVE agrifood accelerator presented the Animal AgTech Landscape Map at the inaugural Swine Innovation Summit last week. The 150-strong event took place in partnership with the National Pork Board and ahead of the first Forbes AgTech Summit in Indiana. Five THRIVE cohort members relevant to the swine industry presented in a dedicated Swine Startup Showcase. Here Keane highlights the key features of the map.

The National Pork Board (NPB) is focused on identifying emerging technology solutions designed to address the challenges and operational needs of swine producers across the value chain of pork production. SVG Ventures-THRIVE has partnered with the NPB as its innovation partner to develop a targeted pipeline of livestock and animal health startups that support that mission along with their focus for providing a healthy, safe, environmentally sustainable product for the food supply chain. SVG has prepared a landscape map of animal agtech companies that reflects technology companies that are building or have built a solution for specific markets. Some that are designed for other animals will have crossover into swine production applications.

“Changing food production practices also includes technology that is disrupting not only how food is produced, but how it is transported, presented and sold to unknowing consumers,” says Andy Brudtkuhl, National Pork Board’s Director of Emerging Technology. “Understand, this is a trillion-dollar industry and it has never been more important to be ahead of emerging trends.”

The map has been constructed to segment the technology companies in two ways:

  1. Vertically by animal type. ‘All Market Animals’ is a broad category for companies who have either built a platform or product for general animal use, or companies who have more than one solution, targeted at more than one animal. Bovine, Swine and Poultry are currently only targeted at one animal group.
  2. Horizontally, across the value chain, with the On-Farm category segmented further into different on-farm use cases.

Additionally, we have overlaid the NPB’s core mission to support people, pigs, and the planet by segmenting into Animal Well-being, Environment and People & Community. Solutions that make producers lives easier through better data management are included in People & Community.

It should be noted that some companies could potentially be applicable to more than one category but for simplicity, have been mapped into a single category.

Investment Trends

This map represents 95 startups with a known investment total of over $500 million. The start-ups range in stage from pre-seed to companies with significant growth and revenue. Of the 95, the investment received is known for only 59. This could be due to some early-stage companies being funded by friends and family rounds, or in some cases, the investor may be a private investment by another corporation. Analysis of known funding indicates a large outlier in the feed category for poultry with a $122 million investment in AgriProtein. This investment outweighs all other known investments by a factor of two. Overall, the categories of feed, health and data management are active and well-funded within the start-up ecosystem.

animal agtech

Figure 2: Total Known Investment per Animal Category

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Figure 3: Total Known Investment Across the Value Chain of Animal Production

animal agtech

Although not exhaustive, the landscape map reflects the current state of Animal AgTech in 2019. If you are building a company in animal agtech and do not see your company on this map, please reach out to

Published by SVG Ventures + THRIVE and AgFunder

SwineTech and BinSentry Win The THRIVE-Forbes Innovation Icon Award – Including An Investment Of $100,000 From SVG Ventures – At The Forbes AgTech Summit

Indianapolis, IN., September 19, 2019— Today SVG Ventures and Forbes announced SwineTech, an Iowa-based startup, and BinSentry a Canadian-based startup are both winners of the THRIVE Midwest Challenge and recipients of the 2019 THRIVE-Forbes Innovation Icon Award at the Forbes AgTech Summit in Indianapolis. This is the second time this year that Forbes and SVG Ventures have presented awards to companies with best-emerging technologies focused on advancing the future of food and agriculture.

The THRIVE Midwest Challenge is a pitch competition for startups developing ag biotechnology, livestock, and animal health and digital crop technology relevant for Midwest farmers and producers. The THRIVE Challenges provide startups with an opportunity to showcase their solutions before an audience of investors, corporate partners, and local and national media.

Impressive pitches, extensive domain expertise, and scalable market growth created a uniquely difficult winning decision for the THRIVE Midwest Challenge judges. The winners were determined ultimately for the refined technological advancements and growth potential each brings to the agtech industry. SwineTech Inc. is an agtech and animal health company that uses voice recognition in its SmartGuardÔ device to innovate farrowing operations for the swine industry.  BinSentry Inc. is reinventing antiquated feed bin monitoring and inventory data systems with IoT and powerful supporting software that is applicable across agtech sectors and other relevant industries. Both SwineTech and BinSentry will receive a coveted spot in the THRIVE VI Accelerator 2020 with a $100,000 investment from SVG Ventures, plus an advertisement in an upcoming issue of Forbes magazine and the opportunity to present at Forbes’ Under 30 Summit in October.

SVG Ventures Founder and CEO John Hartnett and ForbesLive SVP Sherry Phillips presented the awards during day two of the summit. “We are delighted with the evolution of the Forbes–SVG Ventures partnership in advancing the future of Food and Agriculture,” Hartnett said.  “This year, the THRIVE Midwest Challenge Program received eighty-nine applications from twenty-six countries. Five startup finalists were selected to pitch live on stage.” John Hartnett affirmed, “The winners, SwineTech and BinSentry, provide significant technological advancements that will play a key role in optimizing operational efficiencies for pork producers and midwest farmers.”

“The 2019 THRIVE-Forbes Innovation Icon Award honors those helping to bring solutions to the marketplace that will move the world forward,” said Sherry Phillips, SVP of ForbesLive. “SwineTech and BinSentry are both gamechangers for the industry and true innovators. They’re incredibly deserving of this honor and we look forward to showcasing them at our Under 30 Summit this fall and in an advertisement in our magazine.”

Judges for the competition included Rachelle Galvin, SVG Ventures THRIVE Midwest Program Director, Neal Gutterson Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer of Corteva Agriscience™, and Chloe Sorvino, Staff Writer, Forbes Magazine. The THRIVE companies that competed on stage at the Forbes AgTech Summit were Advanced Animal Diagnostics, BinSentry, GroGuru, Swinetech, and 3 Bar Biologics.


THRIVE VI Applications Open

Applications are currently open for THRIVE’s sixth accelerator program. The THRIVE VI Accelerator program will take place over four months from February to June and culminate at the Forbes AgTech Summit June 2020.  The application deadline is October 31st, 2019. To apply, please visit the THRIVE website.


About Forbes AgTech Summit

The Forbes AgTech Summit convenes the world’s biggest agricultural leaders, investors, and entrepreneurs looking to find solutions for some of the world’s most critical food and agricultural challenges. Key speakers at the second annual Forbes AgTech Summit in Indianapolis include Steve Forbes, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief of Forbes; John Hartnett, Founder & CEO, SVG Ventures and THRIVE AgTech; and Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb. For more information, please see the press release here.


About SVG Ventures-THRIVE Innovation Platform

SVG Ventures-THRIVE is the leading AgriFood innovation ecosystem, comprised of top agriculture, food & technology corporations, universities, and investors. With a community of over 2,000 startups from 82 countries, the THRIVE platform invests, accelerates and creates unparalleled access for entrepreneurs to scale globally to solve the biggest challenges facing the food and agriculture industries. AgFunder recognizes SVG Ventures-THRIVE as the “Most Valuable AgriFood Platform in the World.”

THRIVE was launched in 2014 by Silicon Valley Global Ventures (SVG Ventures), a venture, innovation, and investment firm based in Silicon Valley, CA. For more information, please visit


About Forbes

The defining voice of entrepreneurial capitalism, Forbes champions success by celebrating those who have made it, and those who aspire to make it. Forbes convenes and curates the most-influential leaders and entrepreneurs who are driving change, transforming business and making a significant impact on the world. The Forbes brand today reaches more than 120 million people worldwide through its trusted journalism, signature LIVE events, custom marketing programs and 40 licensed local editions in 70 countries. Forbes Media’s brand extensions include real estate, education, and financial services license agreements. For more information, visit:


Media Contacts

SVG Ventures: Marta Weinstock, Marketing Director,

Forbes: Laura Brusca, VP of Corp. Communications,

SVG Ventures announces Valley Irrigation as the Latest Partner to Join the THRIVE Innovation Platform

Los Gatos, CA, September 16, 2019 – SVG Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based venture, and innovation firm, announced today that Valley® Irrigation, a Valmont® Company, has become the latest Corporate Partner to join its THRIVE Venture & Innovation Platform. Valley Irrigation is The Leader in Precision Irrigation® and offers a pivotal end-to-end cloud-based platform with real-time equipment, environmental, and agronomic data. The immediate data provides solutions for conserving water and meeting the growing demand for food. The new partnership between Valley and SVG signifies the company’s continued commitment to advancing a more efficient and sustainable agriculture supply chain through best-in-class technology.

SVG-THRIVE leverages its award-winning global AgTech platform to connect corporate partners like Valley with their worldwide network of entrepreneurs to drive innovation and identify emerging technologies that advance the future of food and agriculture. Valley will have the opportunity to partner with startups, participate in global pitch events, mentor accelerator startups, custom programs, and workshops, and join SVG’s network of corporate AgTech partners.

“We are delighted to welcome Valley Irrigation as the latest Corporate Partner. Progressive corporations, like Valley, are proactively looking across the globe for innovative solutions,” said John Hartnett, Founder & CEO of SVG Ventures-THRIVE. “Our platform delivers qualified deal-flow and incredible opportunities for both our corporate partners and our startups,” he added.

In 2018, irrigation charted as a $1.03 billion (USD) global industry and is expected to reach $2.84 billion by 2025, advancements in the irrigation space represent a significant opportunity for disruptive technology. From the initial offering of GPS guidance in tractors to today’s predictive analysis, the technology involved in farming operations has evolved, but the goal has remained the same: increase ROI for the grower. Valley Irrigation is focused on optimizing the future of AgTech with the knowledge that water is still the most important determinant of yield. Applying water accurately and efficiently results in higher profits. Valley realizes the power in fully connected crop management tools by incorporating the latest in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and sensor technology. The latest Valley Irrigation pivots will now be able to not only apply water and crop protection products but also to scout for other issues that threaten yields, such as pests and disease.

The partnership between SVG Ventures and Valley Irrigation is creating great value for us and other organizations dedicated to evolving technologies in agriculture,” said Trevor Mecham, Vice President, Global Technology Strategy for Valley. “The organizational structure that SVG-THRIVE has provided creates not only great collaborations amongst leading industry providers to scale their businesses and relationships, but also provides insight into new AgTech companies that are up and coming.”

Valley Irrigation continues to raise the bar on technological advancements and recently announced another industry first with their cloud-based remote management platform that establishes a new competitive advantage for irrigation management. “This new innovation furthers the Valley tradition of helping growers become more advanced and efficient,” said Andy Carritt, Vice President, Product Development. “This industry first will be with updates functioning similarly to the smartphone updates most people are familiar with – but for their smart panels.”


About Valley Irrigation

Valley Irrigation founded the center pivot irrigation industry in 1954, and our brand is the worldwide leader in sales, service, quality, and innovation. With historical sales of more than 250,000 center pivots and linears, Valmont-built equipment annually irrigates approximately 25 million acres (10 million hectares) around the world. We remain dedicated to providing innovative, precision irrigation solutions now and into the future. For more information, please visit


About SVG Ventures-THRIVE Innovation Platform

SVG Ventures-THRIVE is the leading AgriFood innovation ecosystem, comprised of top agriculture, food & technology corporations, universities, and investors. With a community of over 2,000 startups from 82 countries, the THRIVE platform invests, accelerates and creates unparalleled access for entrepreneurs to scale globally to solve the biggest challenges facing the food and agriculture industries. AgFunder recognizes SVG Ventures-THRIVE as the “Most Valuable AgriFood Platform in the World.” For more information, please visit and review the SVG Ventures Press Kit.


THRIVE VI Applications Open

SVG Ventures is currently accepting applications for its sixth THRIVE Accelerator program. The program will take place over four months commencing in February & culminating at the Forbes AgTech Summit in Salinas in June 2020.  The application deadline for startups is October 31st, 2019. To apply, please visit the THRIVE website.



Media Contacts

SVG Ventures: Marta Weinstock, Marketing Director,