China Food

I, the investor, went to the field to find a project

 
最近几个月,红杉团队在看农业科技。

 

Wen: Zhang Jihai, Liu Bo

Source: investment community (ID: peadily2012)

 
VC开始下乡——农业科技火了。
这里即将诞生第一个IPO。不久前,极飞科技申请科创板IPO审核状态变更为“已问询”,有望成为农业无人机第一股。公司掌舵人彭斌,自小就热爱航空,早年从微软离职后成立了极飞科技。2013年一次偶然的调研,彭斌发现农业无人机赛道,在田间地头做出一只百亿独角兽。
一路走来,极飞科技身后不乏软银愿景基金、百度、创新工场、高瓴、越秀产业基金等身影。这恰恰是农业科技融资火热景象的一缕缩影:今年5月,十月稻田完成B轮14.5亿元融资,红杉中国和云锋基金联合领投,CMC资本、泰合资本、启承资本跟投;12月,乐禾食品完成数亿元E轮融资,鼎晖投资、钟鼎资本联合领投,美团龙珠更是连投四轮……这样的农业项目正在冒出来。
“最近几个月,红杉团队在看农业科技。”一位LP感叹。曾几何时,中国农村被视为创投荒漠,但如今,这里正在成为一片希望的田野。正如彭斌曾在演讲中所说,“科技未必只有星辰大海,还有田间地头。”
An IPO was born in the field of with a valuation of 10 billion
. The post-80s Xidian alumni took the helm
This is the story of a post-80s Polytechnic man who started from scratch.
Peng bin was born in Sanming, Fujian Province in 1982. He has been an aviation fan since childhood. He has been playing aviation models since junior high school. Professional magazines such as radio magazine and aviation knowledge are even more precious. In 2004, he graduated from the computer department of Xi’an University of Electronic Science and technology and entered Microsoft as a technical manager. During this period, Peng bin with excellent ability was awarded the title of Microsoft’s most valuable expert. At the same time, he also met a group of “geeks” who love technology.
at that time, industrial automation had just begun, and Peng bin had the idea of starting a business. After careful consideration, he thinks he is good at embedded development, understands inertial navigation and some automatic driving technologies, and can create new products. In April 2007, Peng bin and two friends established Jifei technology with UAV flight control system as the starting point.
2012 is a turning point in the process of Jifei technology. In Peng Bin’s words, UAVs are gradually mature, “just like a grown-up child, college entrance examination needs to fill in college volunteers.” To this end, Peng bin led his team around the country to explore the possibility of UAVs in professional fields such as logistics, security, police, electricity and agriculture. Until October 2013, Peng bin and his team came to Xinjiang for research, just in time to beat defoliant before local cotton harvest. Out of an attempt, Peng bin and his team temporarily refitted an aerial drone, installed two mineral water bottles and connected to a car wash pump to spray water, which was actually recognized by farmers. Inspired by this, Peng bin judged that the agricultural UAV is worth doing.
soon, Jifei technology produced UAVs for plant protection, but the unit price of more than 100000 is not easy to be accepted by farmers. To this end, Peng bin decided to sell the service first, send UAVs to inject medicine for cotton, and charge only more than ten yuan per mu of land. As a result, the reputation of Jifei technology started rapidly. In only two years, the land service area increased from one mu to 2 million mu.
but being an agricultural UAV company is not the end of extreme flight. After accumulating tens of millions of mu of working area, Peng bin saw the strong demand for science and technology in rural China and realized that he should be an agricultural science and technology company. To this end, Jifei technology has successively launched agricultural unmanned vehicles, remote sensing UAVs, agricultural Internet of things, agricultural machinery auxiliary driving equipment, intelligent agricultural systems and other products. By the end of last year, Jifei had laid more than 60000 agricultural automation equipment in the fields of 42 countries and regions around the world, serving more than 9.31 million farmers and 780 million mu of secondary farmland.
this is a humble business. According to the prospectus, the revenue of Jifei technology in 2018, 2019 and 2020 was about RMB 322 million, RMB 357 million and RMB 530 million respectively, and the revenue in the first half of this year was about RMB 469 million. However, it should be noted that the loss of Jifei technology is also expanding. From 2018 to the first half of this year, its net losses were 6.894 million yuan, 39.6055 million yuan, 59.8323 million yuan and 85.5584 million yuan respectively. In this regard, Jifei technology frankly said that the company’s industry is still in a period of rapid growth, and the R & D investment is high at this stage.
has gone through 14 years, and there is a luxury investor lineup behind Jifei technology. According to incomplete statistics from the investment community, Jifei technology has completed six rounds of financing, including well-known VC / PE figures such as Softbank vision fund, Hillhouse, Baidu, Innovation workshop, Yuexiu industry fund and becoming capital.
in fact, the initial financing of Jifei technology was not smooth, because Internet innovative enterprises were more popular at that time, and hardware start-ups such as Jifei technology were rare. Peng bin once recalled that before the first round of financing, he met dozens of investors, and each time he needed to spend a lot of time explaining what Jifei was doing. Finally, Jifei technology received a round a financing with a capital of US $20 million in 2014.
until last year, with the rise of agricultural science and technology, VC / PE poured in. In November 2020, Jifei technology completed a new round of financing of 1.2 billion yuan, setting the largest single financing record in China’s agricultural science and technology field. This round is led by Baidu capital and Softbank vision fund phase II, followed by Innovation workshop, Yuexiu industry fund and Guangzhou emerging fund.
in March this year, Jifei technology completed another round of C + + financing of more than 300 million yuan invested by Hillhouse venture capital. Talking about this investment, Huang liming, partner of Hillhouse and head of software and hardware technology of Hillhouse venture capital, once said, “Today, digitization and intellectualization have injected great vitality into ancient agriculture, and this set of unmanned intelligent agricultural system solutions established by Jifei technology after years of deep cultivation – especially the flexible and in-depth application of robotics, driverless and other technologies in the agricultural field, making it possible to greatly improve agricultural production efficiency.” Today, Jifei technology has grown into an agricultural Unicorn valued at nearly 10 billion yuan.
VC / PE went to the countryside on a large scale, and Sequoia came.
financing is hot this year
through the IPO of Jifei technology, we see such a scene: the agricultural technology track is on fire.
in May this year, paddy field Agricultural Technology Co., Ltd. announced the completion of round B financing of RMB 1.45 billion. This round of financing was jointly led by Sequoia China and Yunfeng fund, followed by CMC capital, Taihe capital and Qicheng capital. In October 2020, paddy field obtained a round a investment of 300 million yuan from the consumer fund, with a total financing amount of 1.75 billion yuan, creating the highest financing amount in the field of basic food materials in China in recent five years.
this is another star company rising from the field. Statistics show that October paddy field is a leading brand of high-quality and healthy food grains from the ecological northeast. It adheres to the production mode of direct collection from the origin and order production, and constructs two categories of rice and miscellaneous grains. It covers October rice fields, firewood courtyard, Fuxiang family, Wugu declaration and other brand products. Since the launch of Jingdong Mall in 2011, the brand has continued to lead the main grain track. From 2017 to 2020, the compound annual growth rate reached 60%. During the epidemic period in 2020, the sales of rice fields in October increased by 80% year-on-year.
talking about this investment, Shen NANPENG, global executive partner of Sequoia Capital, once said: “there are great opportunities in large industries, and the modernization and branding of agriculture need entrepreneurs with a sense of faith. Sequoia China is optimistic about the accumulation of October rice field in the whole industrial chain, and looks forward to working with the October rice field team to empower new agriculture with new channels and new brands, so as to create real value for farmers to increase their income and become rich.”
coincidentally, Xia Zuoquan, one of the founders of BYD, is also investing in agriculture. In August, liannong Association, a digital breeding service provider, successively obtained pre-A and pre-A + rounds of financing from Shenzhen Zhengxuan investment and Ziyu capital founded by Xia Zuoquan. An industrial Internet platform focusing on agriculture and animal husbandry provides full scene digital solutions for family farmers and small and medium-sized farms around the means of production, breeding process, production, marketing and export of the agricultural and animal husbandry industrial chain. Speaking of the original intention of entrepreneurship, Huang Tao, the founder, once shared: “I came from a rural area and have a strong rural complex.
of course, this is just a microcosm of the popularity of agricultural science and technology financing. In December this year, Lehe food completed hundreds of millions of yuan of e-round financing, jointly led by CDH investment and Zhongding capital, meituan Longzhu (four rounds in a row) and xingtou (Beijing) capital follow-up investment. In addition, a number of agricultural financing were born: Hansong agricultural service, a domestic agricultural industry chain enterprise, agricultural credit in the era of agricultural digital industry internet platform, wanqingniu, Tianrun agriculture, Zhonghe agricultural credit, a rural industry internet platform, huitongda, yansongshan agriculture and agricultural e-commerce platform . intelligent farmland operation robot “Zhongke prime power” It’s spectacular.
and the team of investment institutions is also vast – Sequoia China, Yunfeng fund, CMC capital, CDH investment, Zhongding capital, meituan Longzhu, Xiangfeng investment, Qicheng capital, yingnuo angel, panda capital and Jiazi sail… An LP who asked not to be named revealed that he talked at a sharing meeting at the beginning of this month, and Sequoia team began to watch agricultural technology intensively in recent months.
this is a field of hope
VC goes out of office buildings to the countryside
Once upon a time, Chinese VC avoided agricultural projects. A VC boss once said in public that he would not invest in agriculture, “if agriculture makes money, why are there migrant workers?”.
but now, change is happening. “With the completion of the battle against poverty and the focus on comprehensively promoting rural revitalization, national strategies often bring a large window of investment opportunities. Previously, agricultural development was relatively backward, mechanization had not been fully completed, far from reaching the intelligent level, and there was great room for innovation and transformation.” An early institutional investor in Shanghai once shared.
this is a vast untapped world. In May this year, the Ministry of agriculture and rural areas The National Rural Revitalization Bureau recently issued the guidelines for social capital investment in agriculture and rural areas (2021) (hereinafter referred to as the guidelines), which clearly encourages social capital to invest in 13 key industries and fields in agriculture and rural areas, including modern planting and breeding industry and rural people enriching industry Said: support social capital to expand business in accordance with laws and regulations, pay attention to win-win cooperation, run more industries that farmers “can’t do, can’t do well and can’t be cost-effective”, and leave more profits in the countryside; Run more industries with long chains, high participation of farmers and wide benefits, and leave more jobs to farmers; We will do more to consolidate and expand the achievements of poverty alleviation and help farmers lead agriculture, so as to drive the synchronous development of rural areas and the synchronous progress of farmers.
it is worth mentioning that the guidelines also clearly stated to promote the establishment of a Rural Revitalization fund guided by government funds, strongly supported by financial institutions, widely participated by social capital and operated in a market-oriented manner. Relevant funds are encouraged to give full play to their role in guiding and leveraging funds in rural revitalization, industrial development and infrastructure construction through direct equity investment and the establishment of sub funds.
according to the analysis of a science and technology investor in Beijing, driverless, UAV, Internet of things and more and more new technologies are applied to farming, planting, management and income in agricultural production, effectively solving the problems of low production efficiency and labor reduction. Unmanned agriculture, intelligent production, accurate operation, digital management and networked service are the inevitable trend of agricultural science and technology modernization. These subdivided industries are likely to give birth to new investment opportunities.
at the same time, the concept of ESG has entered the vision of more people, and ESG investment has become a new battlefield for major investment institutions. Agriculture is the foundation to support the continuation of human life, but the current pollution indicators of domestic agriculture are not optimistic. For a long time, the high proportion of chemical products used in the process of agricultural production, excessive extraction of groundwater, burning of straw, land pollution and other problems have a certain impact on the environment. Therefore, the new agricultural industry itself is part of ESG investment.
but the difficulties are also in front of reality. China’s agricultural projects are mostly distributed in small cities or rural areas with inconvenient transportation, which is time-consuming and laborious. “I obviously feel that the travel time has become longer this year. Many agricultural projects in the south are distributed in mountainous areas, and the difficulty of research projects is really not small.” The investment manager of a VC institution in Beijing admitted. The highlight of
is coming. In order to attract more VC / PE into the field, local governments began to set up government guidance funds – on April 28,
, Guangdong nongheng Rural Revitalization fund, the country’s first Provincial Rural Revitalization fund participated by banks and financial institutions and invested in the project, was launched. This was initiated and established by the agricultural fund and the Agricultural Bank of China, with a total scale of 5 billion yuan. It focuses on supporting leading enterprises in the grain industry chain, high-quality breeding enterprises, agricultural science and technology enterprises, key enterprises for stable production and supply of agricultural products and pig scale breeding and processing enterprises.
only in November, several agricultural related master funds were established one after another – from 2021, Guizhou provincial finance has set up an agricultural modernization development fund with 4.5 billion yuan as the master fund; Beijing shounong Beixin Industrial Development Fund was registered and established, with an initial scale of 2.01 billion yuan, jointly funded by shounong food group and Beijing trust.
perhaps in the near future, more and more investors will leave the CBD office buildings in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen and go deep into Chinese villages to find projects.
reprint authorization and media business cooperation: Amy (wechat: 13701559246);
joining the community: Cherry (wechat: 15240428449). The registration channel for the new fourth Isee global food innovation award has been opened. Launched by foodaily daily food in 2018, Isee Innovation Award excavates and commends the innovative models of global products / brands / technologies / enterprises / figures from the perspective of business ecology, and provides information to industries, businesses and consumers through a series of activities such as media communication, innovation search and social experience marketing It will show the innovation and style, show the world China’s innovation, promote the integration of overseas and local innovation, and empower China’s new consumption. There is not only competition, but also content, communication, experience and social networking. We look forward to the participation of every food enterprise! (click the picture to view the detailed introduction)
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