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Ag Industry Brief: New Venture Fund Eschews NY, CA Startups, Trump to Address Farm Bureau, End of Year M&A, more

December 22, 2017

Steve Case Announces $150m Rise of the Rest Seed Fund

Cofounder of AOL and CEO of Revolution Steve Case is launching a seed fund to support entrepreneurs across America. 75 percent of venture capital, he says, flows to three states: California, New York, and Massachusetts. Through Rise of the Rest, he aims to support start-ups nationwide and distribute capital and creativity more evenly. J.D. Vance, author of “Hillbilly Elegy” and former Peter Thiel employee, will lead the fund.  Read more.

Ola Plans $200m Acquisition of Foodpanda India

India’s largest ride-sharing app, Ola, announced plans to enter the food ordering and delivery space by acquiring Foodpanda India. Last year, Ola launched and then closed its own food delivery pilot program, Ola Cafe. Delivery Hero, which is backed by Rocket Internet along with Foodpanda, owns Foodpanda globally and will receive a minority stake in Ola. Read more.

Koppert Acquires BUG Agentes Biológicos for Undisclosed Amount

Koppert Biological Systems, a Dutch agriculture company with headquarters in Piracicaba, Brazil, purchased BUG Agentes Biológicos, a local company that produces and commercializes biological control agents for agricultural pests. BUG works with many sugarcane farms currently and plans to launch a product geared towards the grain market in 2018. The deal creates the largest biocontrol company in Latin America. Read more.

President Trump to Address Farm Bureau Convention in 2018

President Trump plans to address farm and ranch families in Nashville, Tennessee during the 99th Annual Farm Bureau convention in early January. The five-day convention hosts educational workshops, policy discussions, and a series of keynote speeches. Entertainer Reba McEntire is also on the agenda. Read more.

Sprout-X Accepting Applications for 2018

The Australian agrifood tech accelerator Sprout-X has opened applications for its 2018 cohort. The accelerator works to develop an ‘ecosystem’ model for entrepreneurship, bringing stakeholders from government agencies, research institutions, and the private sector into the conversation. Sprout-X cohort members receive an initial $40,000 in capital funding, ongoing venture capital backing, and other services. Read more.

HATCH Aquaculture Accelerator Announces First Cohort in April 2018

Bergen, Norway will be home to the first start-up accelerator focused on aquaculture. Applications are now open for its three-month program beginning April 2018. The accelerator is a joint initiative between HATCH and Bergen Teknologioverforing, a local technology transfer office that will host the program on its campus. Cohort teams will receive a cash investment of €25,000 alongside mentoring and networking. Read more.

Cargill Suspends Its Relationship with a Guatemalan Palm Oil Company

The Guatemalan palm oil company Reforestadora de Palmas del Peten, S.A (REPSA) is no longer a business partner of the U.S.-based agribusiness company Cargill. In a statement, Cargill said REPSA’s failure to comply with internal sustainability and human rights standards triggered the suspension. REPSA has been the subject of a local lawsuit in 2015 addressing pollution – international organizations began to exert pressure on the company in the months following. Read more.

William Baum To Join Arzeda Board of Directors

William ‘Bill’ Baum has joined the board of Arzeda, a Seattle-based biotechnology company developing cell-based industrial chemical production. Baum comes to Arzeda after decades in the biotech industry – he previously served on the board of Genomatica and currently serves on the board at Gevo, Inc. Read more.

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