Idea 2 Scale: Food & AgTech Investor Sentiment Report

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.”


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