A Feeding Frenzy in Agriculture – Cannibalism and M&A Prey


Chris Sworder
It’s always difficult to get a big picture of the agriculture industry. It’s huge. However, two big things are important: mega-mergers and bountiful exits. Big companies In recent years, we have seen a number of mergers that would see large percentages of market share across the Agriculture & Food sector concentrated in an even smaller number of companies. Just as one small example, with this set of mergers shown on the right, 70% of the world’s pesticide market and 83%... Read More »

Does Ford’s vision of a new transportation value chain suggest Amazon is the future king of transportation?


Ken-Ichi Hino
Ford has had a fast start to 2018, laying out its vision of the future of transportation at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and buying two pieces of its future business model shortly thereafter. The transportation-as-a-service (TaaS) business model Ford envisions isn’t anything new, as plenty of players both large and small have been espousing such a vision for some time. The somewhat surprising aspect is that the way Ford is talking about it indicates that defensibility in the TaaS... Read More »

Next-Gen Agriculture & Food – What did we learn at Cleantech Forum SF?


Leo Zhang
The 2018 Cleantech Forum San Francisco successfully wrapped up two weeks ago, which highlighted next generation cleantech innovations. The agriculture & food sector was a key topic for this year, and as such, was allocated three separate sessions to cover various themes, including digital agriculture, sustainable food systems, and biotechnology applications. The panels consisted of leading venture investors, corporate executives, and entrepreneurs sharing their perspectives on the current challenges we face, and more importantly, how to overcome them. Digital technologies... Read More »

The New Carbon Economy: Doing Well by Doing Good


Julio Friedmann
This guest blog by Julio Friedmann, CEO of Carbon Wrangler LLC, was previously posted on his LinkedIn and Medium (February 1, 2018).  My second favorite thing to do is drink coffee. Dedicated aficionados are familiar with a curious fact of coffee roasting: the beans off-gas twice their volume in CO2. This process takes a few days, depending on origin and degree of roasting. That’s why one doesn’t grind and drink beans immediately after roasting – to let CO2 exit the bean and... Read More »

Energy Access: The future of the market


Josh Gilbert
Worldwide, there are over 1.4 billion people without energy access. On the African continent alone, 620 million people lack access not only to the electricity grid, but also to all the accompanying benefits that go along with a connection, with only kerosene-powered solutions. The issue is both a pressing humanitarian problem and an environmental opportunity. Responding to the risks and rewards, venture capital is increasingly being mobilized within the sector – with over $100 million invested in 2017 Q4, according... Read More »

Iteration vs Reusability – A Race to Mars


Jonathan Koch
Contributions from: Louis Brasington, Intern Interview with Tim Ellis, CEO of Relativity Space Launching rockets has never been cheaper. Technological advances and new business models are shaking up the industry, and private investments are soaring. But while all eyes are on the ‘Falcon Heavy’ - currently being tested in Cape Canaveral - and SpaceX’s successful recovery of rockets, a few companies have chosen another path to drive down costs and improve the economics of space launch: 3D printing. Companies like... Read More »

Feeding Fish to Fish: How Insect Farming Fixes Fishmeal


Chris Sworder
At the beginning of 2017, I wrote a piece of research quoting Winston Churchill’s 1932 article Fifty Years Hence, in which he predicted that we would all be eating chicken grown in laboratories. While that is slowly becoming a reality (through companies such as Memphis Meats), there is another area of protein consumption that would likely have seemed even more absurd in 1932 – aquaculture. Currently, to produce 1kg of farmed fish ready for human consumption, it takes 1.5-2kg of... Read More »

AI, Blockchain and Hype in Cutting-Edge ICT: Thoughts from the road


Jules Besnainou
In the past two years, CTG has been building a research stream and practice to help corporate and investor clients gear up for new, ever-faster waves of disruption coming from the software world – our At the Cutting Edge research. In the blockchain space, for instance, we have been helping corporates understand relevant use cases and connecting them with the right innovators. A few weeks ago, we held a private executive summit on Blockchain in Energy & Industry in Boston,... Read More »

Announcing the Latest Edition of the Levelized Cost of Storage Report (LCOS 3.0)


Dan Gabaldon
Daniel Gabaldon is a co-founder of  Enovation Partners. Earlier this month, Enovation released the latest edition of the Levelized Cost of Storage report (LCOS 3.0) in collaboration with the global investment bank Lazard. Here are some reflections on what we learned: Energy storage costs continue to decline rapidly, but… Not all technologies are following at the same pace of improvement. Li-ion has fallen faster over the past year, and is poised to continue a slightly steeper trajectory of cost decline –... Read More »

Three Agriculture & Food Trends to Watch in 2018


Leo Zhang
The agriculture & food sector has attracted an increasing number of venture investments since 2014, reaching the sector’s highest fundraising so far at more than $1.5 billion in 2017, according to data from our i3 platform. My colleague has published a recent blog post on high-profile company, Plenty, which has raised $200 million venture capital and is aiming to bring large scale vertical farming to cities. Besides vertical farming, technologies such as plant genomics, alternative proteins, drones, and more are entering... Read More »