November 2019, Ag Biotechnology
Idea 2 Scale interviewed Jonathan Hua, THRIVE Accelerator Manager
What Makes this Category #1 for Food & AgTech Investors?
To understand more about what’s driving investor optimism for this category, we spoke with
Jonathan Hua, who runs SVG’s THRIVE Accelerator in Silicon Valley. Ag Biotechnology is
one of the key areas he invests in.
Why do you think there is such interest in this space from investors at present?
“Ag Biotechnology is a fascinating space. On one hand, it’s an area of ag with high barriers to
entry, long periods of time from idea inception to commercialization, significant regulations
and challenges with market adoption. But the industry is also likely to grow 10%+ each year
for the next few years. With consumer preferences shifting very sharply towards fresher and
more nutritious food, biologicals, inputs and seed genetics will really help to modify plants
for better yield and higher nutrition. Furthermore, ag biotech solutions can have significant
upside to farmers from an environment/climate change standpoint. Right now, there’s a
significant movement around carbon sequestration and putting carbon back into our soils. A
lot of the innovation that will help achieve this will come from the biotech side with new
fertilizers, pesticide alternatives, soil health and plant growth solutions.”
What are some key technologies and opportunities emerging in Ag Biotechnology?
“There are significant ag biotech solutions that could really make a difference for farmers and
growers. Seed genetics to grow disease and pest-resistant crops with higher yields and more
nutritional capacity is currently a high adoption technology among farmers. Nutrient
supplements for crops in the form of specially formulated microbes and biostimulants will
also see increasing adoption as the mechanisms for delivery become more sophisticated.”
For the full article go to https://www.ideatoscale.com/insights