W23 is a global grocery retail venture capital fund

The global food system is a major contributor to climate change, with one-quarter of the worldā€™s greenhouse gas emissionsĀ¹ resulting from food and agriculture. Improving the resilience of our food systems, from farm to fork, is critical to feeding a growing population, reducing these emissions and meeting international climate targetsĀ².Ā 

Australia is well-positioned to lead in sustainable agrifood innovation; underpinned by world-class universities and institutions, a nation of tech-friendly farming pioneersĀ³ and a strong innovation ecosystem. According to Australian Climate Tech Insights (ACTI) data, 60% of Australian climate techĀ  companies in the agrifood sector directly create positive climate impactā“, while 52% have set measurable climate impact goalsāµ.

In 2023, Australia was home to over 500 climate tech startups, with 12% of companies focused on agrifood. The space attracted ~A$235m in investment, down from A$466M in 2022āµ, reflecting the impact of geopolitical and economic conditions and making it more challenging for early-stage companies to secure capital. These startups are pioneering technology across precision agriculture, biotechnology, soils and fertilisers, alternative proteins, indoor agriculture and mapping/imagery servicesā¶. By transforming traditional food systems into more sustainable and equitable ones, they are also providing pathways to increasing agrifood sector productivity and food security.Ā 

The food system is inherently interconnected and global, with climate change impacts in one region having ripple effects on food production worldwide. Australiaā€™s diverse climate and geography offer a natural testing ground for climate tech that can be adapted to various global conditions. To achieve a sustainable food system, global expansion and collaboration are key; including fostering cross-border partnerships, knowledge exchange and global industry standardisation that can accelerate the development and deployment of agrifood climate tech. This approach is evident in the Australian Climate Tech Insights (ACTI) data, which shows that 88% of Australian agrifood companies plan to expand into a new international market within the next 12 months, 43% already operate outside of Australia, and 9% have an international teamāµ.

Supporting this ecosystem also requires a multi-pronged approach to funding and investor collaboration, across government, accelerators, venture capital and other investors. Venture capital plays a key role in investing in startups that drive meaningful change, and deliver impact and returns across the food system.

By harnessing the power of climate tech innovation in food systems, we can unlock a future where food systems are not only sustainable and equitable, but play a key role in decarbonising our planet.


About us:

W23 Australia is the corporate venture capital fund backed by Woolworths Group that leverages Woolworths Groupā€™s assets, data, scale and expertise to generate joint value. The recent launch of W23 Global combines the reach of Woolworths Group with four other of the worldā€™s leading grocery retailers, operating across Australia, the US, Europe, Canada, the UK, Indonesia, and Africa. This partnership offers startups accelerated pathways to global scale and gives founders the opportunity to test and develop their ideas quickly based on an accelerated understanding of retailersā€™ needs.


1 - Key insights on the Environmental Impacts of Food
2 -Emissions from food alone would take us past 1.5Ā°C or 2Ā°C this century. Ignoring food emissions is simply not an option if we want to get close to our international climate targets. Source
3 - Australian farmers adopt agricultural technology ahead of UKĀ and US ; Australiaā€™s high-tech food and farming
4 - Climate impact is defined as either removing carbon from the atmosphere, reducing carbon emissions, restoring/protecting/enhancing the natural environment and biodiversity, and adapting and mitigating the effects of a changing climate.Ā 
5 - Australian Climate Tech Insights (ACTI) Data Platform
6 - Australian Agritech Ecosystem Map
Jul 8, 2024
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