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Best of 2016: AgFunder’s 10 Most Read Stories

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It’s been a busy year for AgFunder as our member and subscriber base grew to over 25,000 and we posted nearly 500 articles on AgFunderNews.

Over 40 of these articles were written by our amazing network of expert contributors, and three of the top 10 most read posts were written by guest authors. (Would you like to be a contributor to AgFunderNews in 2017? Email me your proposal to Louisa@AgFunder.com)

Here’s a look at the year’s 10 most read stories:

1. What is Ag Big Data? How 8 Companies are Approaching it

Big data is a small phrase with a big impact. The potential for big data to disrupt and improve every industry on the planet has readers clamoring for more information about it, so this post  (from November 2015) helping to explain what exactly the term means and how it’s being used in agriculture, continued to be a big hit in 2016.

2. Agriculture Technology Investment Storms to $4.6bn in 2015 as Global Investors Take Note

Readers love data so AgFunder’s bi-annual AgTech Investing Report is always well-read. Helping industry participants, from startups to venture capital firms, to quantify and thereby justify the agritech market, this report from early 2016 is very popular.

3. How a Japanese Vertical Farm is Growing Strawberries using LED for the First Time

This article was written for AgFunderNews by guest contributor Hiroki Koga, an ex-Deloitte consultant. Hiroki has worked with many vertical agriculture companies and visited Ichigo Company, a vertical farm growing strawberries, earlier this year. Indoor agriculture stories are popular with readers and with many businesses in the West keen to learn from Japan’s more established and technologically advanced indoor agriculture industry, this post was also linked to in several third-party publications.

4. How Big Data is Disrupting Agriculture from Biological Discovery to Farming Practices

Here’s that big data phrase again, and another guest commentary, this time from Vonnie Estes. Vonnie was consulting when she wrote this in-depth piece about how big data is disrupting various processes in the industry. She has since joined gene-editing startup Caribou Biosciences.

5. Organic Food: The Next Big Investment Opportunity in Indian Agriculture

Written by Hemendra Mathur, ex-managing director of SEAF Investment Advisors, the SME-focused venture capital investment firm, this post from 2015 highlighted the opportunities for organic food in India and some private equity deals in the space.

6. What do Monsanto’s Plans to Open Up its Digital Platform Mean for the Agriculture Industry?

The Climate Corporation’s acquisition by Monsanto in 2013 is the reason many venture capital firms and founders have turned their attention to the sector. As one of the more established digital ag players in the market, any news or updates from the company are closely monitored by the industry.

7. Tiny Farms Raises Seed Round from a Zuckerberg as Cricket Farming Heats Up – exclusive

This article about Mark Zuckerberg’s sister investing in cricket farming startup Tiny Farms hit the front page of HackerNews for a day. We were not surprised considering the big name investor and the excitement many readers have around the potential for insects to replace unsustainable forms of protein.

8.  Eight Organizations Offering Grants in Agriculture Research and Development in the US

One of our missions at AgFunderNews is to provide the industry with helpful resources to start new businesses and gain investment, so it was great to see this article by our freelancer Lauren Manning get so much traction. We hope it led to some grants for our readers!

9. A Complete Guide to Startup Resources in Agriculture and Food Technology Innovation

In a similar vein, the report we published with AgThentic and AgInnovation Development Group was also a big hit as we tried to put some definition to the growing number of resources — such as accelerators and incubators — on offer to food and agritech startups.

10. Three Big Challenges for Indoor Agriculture

While there is much excitement about the potential for the indoor agriculture to disrupt outdoor food production, it’s a challenging sector with high costs, young technology, and a limited talent pool. These challenges are reflected in the small amount of venture capital funding the space has received compared to other subsectors of agritech.

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