2017 was a year of extremes in agrifood tech investing. Large deals pushed the total investment volume up to post an encouraging 29% growth, but deal count fell by 17% to 949, with the most dramatic contraction at the crucial seed stage.
We caught up with Neal Gutterson ahead of the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit, where he is a keynote speaker, to discuss the strategy behind Dow DuPont's first GE product and the company's digital strategy going forward.
Plant-based protein startups using technology to create and mass produce their products have traditionally received support from a small but dedicated group of investors, which is increasingly being joined by major food and agriculture players as this trend solidifies.
Twenty Seventeen has been quite the year for the agrifood technology startup scene, with some of the largest-ever funding announcements on record. And we've been pretty busy at AgFunderNews too, nearly doubling our member and subscriber base to 55,000 and posting over 450 original articles.
J.D. Vance, author of "Hillbilly Elegy" and former Peter Thiel employee, will lead the $150 million Rise of the Rest fund aimed at startups in cities outside California, Massachusetts, and New York, plus more in our weekly brief.
In this episode, I speak to Jorge Heraud, the cofounder and CEO of Blue River Technology, a Silicon Valley startup bringing robotics to the farm. Blue River was recently acquired by John Deere, the world's largest tractor company, for $305 million.
Early stage investment in agrifood tech startups reached $4.4 billion in the first half of 2017, posting a 6% year-over-year increase reversing the downward trend of 2016 when agrifood tech investing dropped 17% to $6.9 billion from $8.3 billion in 2015.