Recent Deals – 23 August 2019


Chris Sworder
Agriculture & Food: Motif FoodWorks, a developer of ingredients for the next generation of plant-based and healthy foods (previously known as Motif Ingredients), raised $27.5 million from General Atlantic and CPT Capital. This funding round added to the $90 million it raised from Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Louis Dreyfus Company, Fonterra, and Viking Global when the company was founded in February this year. The company is a spin-out of Ginkgo Bioworks' platform for biological engineering, and is leveraging its parent company's... Read More »

Digitization in Fish Farming – Sector Watch 23 August 2019


Chris Sworder
The global fish farming market is set to grow from $275 billion in 2017 to $376 billion by 2025, with a CAGR of 4.77% during that time frame. The growth will be driven by increasing consumption of fish as a protein source by the rising global population. To meet this demand, there is increased pressure on fish farm production as tonnage of wild-caught fish has stagnated since 1990. This has driven 6.5% year-on-year growth in fish farming, which now accounts... Read More »

Regenerative Agriculture: Agricultural Revolution or Carbon Pricing Capitalism?


Chris Sworder
Regenerative agriculture is about improving soil through better farm practices. The aim is to use farming practices that increase soil health through increased biodiversity, water retention, topsoil protection, and other farming process improvements. One key measure of healthy soil is carbon content. Therefore, a working carbon market for agricultural sequestration of carbon is a powerful lever to promote regenerative agricultural practices. The scale of the opportunity is hard to quantify, as regenerative agriculture practices can be implemented in most agricultural... Read More »

The Dairy Industry – Sector Watch 26 July 2019


Chris Sworder
The dairy market has a value of $674 billion, based on revenue generated by milk products globally. This is expected to grow annually by 4.7% CAGR by 2023. Despite the positive outlook for market size, North American and European margins are low and milk prices are stagnant due to a production surplus.AttractivenessRegional regulatory changes such as the EU dropping its Milk Quota system in 2015 have kept prices low and production high, while Africa and Asia are seeing growing supply shortages.... Read More »

Recent Deals – 26 July 2019


Chris Sworder
Agriculture & Food:   Joyn Bio announced a partnership with NewLeaf Symbiotics. Valued at $75 million, the deal will aim to bring forth a new microbe class that will benefit crop health and protection. Through this deal, Joyn Bio will gain access to NewLeaf’s library of proprietary, highly characterized strains of plant colonizing microbes.   Energy & Power: Innowatt, a developer of real-time energy monitoring and prediction software for energy retailers and utilities, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from... Read More »

Forbes Agtech Event – A view on the Future of Food from Main Street Salinas


Chris Sworder
Recently,  I attended Forbes Agtech Event in Salinas and joined over 500 entrepreneurs, investors, farmers, and others to take a look at the next wave of agtech innovation. There were several underlying trends that stood out for me after I spoke to entrepreneurs to learn more about innovation in automation, food safety, supply chain complexity, and of course … water. Last but not least were solutions enhancing nature’s most efficient pollinators: bees.Automation Even with 90% of large farm machinery having... Read More »

Agtech, Insect Farming and the Future of Efficiency: An Interview with Ÿnsect’s Co-Founder


Chris Sworder
Today, the main goal of insect farming is to develop a product to replace fishmeal as an ingredient in fish feed. Fishmeal currently has a global production of three to four million tons and was worth $6.3 billion in 2017. Eventually, insect farmers want to compete in the pet food ($91 billion) and even animal feed ($400 billion) markets. Business specifics Rather than building, owning and operating each insect farm, a licencing model is possible. Insect farming is highly automated... Read More »

Food Delivery Services: the Challenges of Getting Food to your Front Door


Chris Sworder
Direct to consumer (D2C) delivery models have disrupted consumer product industries from books and electronics to retail stores, web services and increasingly food. Online sales of food and beverage growing at 19% year-on-year, making it one of the top five fastest growing online sales sectors in the US. The market size equates to $17.5 billion in 2018 and is expected to rise to $30 billion by 2021. Peapod and Ocado - online food delivery is older than Amazon There are examples of... Read More »

Standout Fundraising Achievement of the Year 2019 awarded to Agtech company


Chris Sworder
Ÿnsect, a company that breeds insects for feed and non-food applications was awarded the Fundraising Achievement of the Year 2019 for Europe and Israel. Co-Founder, Alexis Angot, was at the recent Cleantech Forum Europe in Stockholm to collect the award following the impressive $125 million Series C the company announced in February, raised from investors including Astanor Ventures, Demeter, Quadia, Talis Capital, Idinvest Partners, Credit Agricole Brie Picardie, Caisse d'Epargne, Picardie Investissement, Finasucre, Compagnie du Bois Sauvage, Happiness Capital, VisVires... Read More »

Are Indoor Agriculture and Vertical Farming Growing up?


Chris Sworder
Urban agriculture and vertical farming, are they viable? There are question marks on efficiency, availability of useful and reasonably priced real estate, and demand for the leafy greens and herbs that are most often the crop of choice. That said, there are several high-profile companies in the U.S. that have been around for several years, e.g. AeroFarms, Plenty, and Bowery, which have raised at total of  over $400M. Alongside these farm developers, we are seeing more indoor agriculture-specific technology (see iUNU’s... Read More »