FoodTech Start-ups Enable a Cornucopia of Choice for Consumers


Gannon McHenry
Over the past year, food sourcing applications have seen an explosion in investment as consumers increasingly look to avoid the hassle of shopping in person. Over the past year billions of dollars in venture equity investment has been put into a handful of companies working to make grocery shopping a minutes-a-month task instead of an hours-a-month chore. Nearly all of these start-ups offer delivery as a core function of their services; enabling consumers without a vehicle or close proximity to... Read More »

Third Quarter Agriculture Innovation Highlights & Trends


Gannon McHenry
A number of innovative business models have received venture funding this past quarter. As we prepare the upcoming Agriculture & Food Quarterly Innovation Monitor, I wanted to provide highlights of the companies which received funding this past quarter. Moreover, this blog posts demonstrates the continued high level of innovation taking place in the agriculture and food space. Three separate and relatively new trends which stood out to me this quarter were: nutrient upcycling, environmentally friendly field treatments and energy efficient... Read More »

Engineering a Well-Fed Future: An Interview with Arcadia Biosciences


Gannon McHenry
As a member of the Research team here at Cleantech Group, we are constantly intrigued by new, emerging technologies and embrace opportunities to interview highly innovative companies making headlines in their respective industries.  I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Eric Rey, CEO of Arcadia Biosciences, about his company and the broader Ag space. Arcadia is a plant-genetics company focused on breeding more environmentally friendly strains of many staple crops including, but not limited to rice, corn, soybeans, and wheat.... Read More »

Renewable Funding Goes Public


Gannon McHenry
The Great Recession brought about large financial losses, caused the tightening of credit markets, and led to a general prevalence of tax write-offs as a result of the tanking market. Diminished access to private loans, along with the increase in popularity of MLP and REIT structures, led many in the renewable energy industry to wonder if they could take advantage of these newer public financing structures. Practically unheard of just a few years ago, YieldCos have taken off in popularity... Read More »

Aiming For the Stars: Google’s Acquisition of Skybox Imaging


Gannon McHenry
Skybox Imaging was acquired by Google last month for $500 million. This purchase ranks as the 10th largest by disclosed deal amount in Google’s history and is a very important acquisition. Skybox, which is based out of Mountain View, CA, has developed a micro-satellite capable of taking highly detailed images of the earth’s surface. They were venture-backed having received a total of $91 million in VC funding from notable firms including Khosla Ventures, Canaan Partners, Northwest Venture Partners and Bessemer... Read More »

Red Hot: Agriculture & Food Investment Sets Record Pace in 2014


Gannon McHenry
Precision Agriculture has burst onto the scene as one of the most discussed sectors of 2014. This is due in no small part to the recent commercialization of multiple disruptive technologies. Technologies such as drones, formerly limited to military use, are now being deployed on farms to help greatly increase production. Large corporations and venture investors have begun to notice the immense opportunities involved with mitigating the effects of a changing climate and an ever-growing need for better yields. Total... Read More »

When Big Data and Cleanweb Collide: An Interview With WatrHub


Gannon McHenry
The rapid adoption of sensors into our electric and water distribution systems has created a wealth of new data. Start-ups in the Cleanweb sector attempt to digest these vast quantities of data and identify areas for improving efficiency. The recent IPO of Opower and increasing attention paid to companies like Bidgely and C3 Energy has served to further demonstrate that this sector is here to stay. WatrHub is a Cleanweb startup focused on the aggregation of water-industry data. Last week... Read More »

Wanxiang’s Purchase of Fisker Highlights Increasing Chinese Cross-Border Investment


Gannon McHenry
A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge approved Wanxiang Group’s bid for Fisker Automotive last Tuesday. The deal was a combination offer of cash and equity worth $150 million. Rather than simply incorporating the intellectual property and assets of Fisker into Wanxiang’s existing brands, the company plans to restart production of the Fisker Karma in a matter of months. Wanxiang previously bought the assets of Fisker’s battery supplier, A123 Systems, following its bankruptcy filing in October of 2012. Wanxiang believes the synergies achieved through owning both A123... Read More »