In 2019, funding for farm tech startups reached $4.7 billion, posting 370% growth over 6 years, according to AgFunder’s recent Farm Tech Investment Report. That bucks the trend across venture capital sectors, which have had a bumper ride. But why? Where is all that money going and what do people working in agriculture think about it?
To dig in, I spoke to Tim Hammerich, the creator of the Future of Agriculture podcast that most people in the agtech space will know for his vast coverage of our industry, and Shane Thomas, an agronomist by background and now global digital ag lead for Canadian digital ag startup Farmers Edge, as well as creator of the excellent Upstream Ag Insights newsletter in a special video interview.
They’ve both been doing an excellent job at shining a light on farm tech to a broad audience base and bringing some much needed deep agriculture experience and understanding to coverage of this space. As we discuss, agriculture is an incredibly complex industry and there’s been a fair number of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and lots of venture capital funding working on problems that don’t exist or taking the wrong approach. So over a Twitter conversation, I invited them to come and speak to me about AgFunder’s recent farm tech report to get their thoughts on where VC funding is going in farm tech. We cover Biotech, Digital Ag, Marketplaces and more, as well as hear a bit more about their backgrounds, so I hope you enjoy!