$127M for food and agtech ventures | Q3 climate tech VC investment highlights

Plus, the top 10 climate investors since 2018, reprogramming our own neural nets, and the wisdom of fart analogies (?).

Good morning peeps,

No promises, but his must be one of the best issues yet. Why? A 10-point deer buck (like this dude) just walked within 20 feet of my window while writing it. Surely a sign. Or maybe he just wanted to eat more of the “Lowe’s Home Improvement salad” — aka, pricey landscaping — that I plant for his kind in my yard.

— Chris

Q3 2021 climate tech VC investment highlights.

Pitchbook — a leading data provider for investment in private companies — has found nirvana in climate tech.

They just released their first-ever Emerging Tech Research: Climate Tech report and their Introduction to Climate Tech: A Taxonomy Overview.

They include amazing market maps showing dozens of companies organized by sector. A work of art.

Great news, right?

Yes, if you’re a Pitchbook subscriber. (Note: It ain’t cheap.)

If not — oh, the tease — here are some highlights in numbers.

Q3 2021 deal activity

  • 203 deals

  • $12.9B raised

YTD 2021 deal activity

  • 783 deals

  • $30.8B raised

Top climate tech VC investors since 2018

  1. SOSV

  2. CPT Capital

  3. Unovis Asset Management

  4. Prelude Ventures

  5. Khosla Venture

  6. Blue Horizon Corporation

  7. Stray Dog Capital

  8. Kleiner Perkins

  9. Total Energies Ventures

  10. Alumni Ventures Group

Food and agtech — Recent financings.

BIOMILQ — $21M Series A

  • “Developing a novel infant feeding option, derived from human mammary cells, to better meet infants' nutritional needs and with a lower carbon footprint than traditional bovine-based infant formula.” (press release)

  • Shout out to our Climate Mastermind member and BIOMILQ CEO Michelle Egger!

Loam Bio — $30M Series A

  • Inoculating crops with symbiotic microbial fungi to increase plants’ ability to store carbon in the soil (Australia)

  • Their seed-coating delivery mechanism also boosts plant fertility and disease protection to increase crop yields.

N.Thing — $26M Series B

  • Developing modular, container-based vertical farming (South Korea)

  • Beyond Asia, they hope to address needs for fresh produce in resource-constrained areas like the deserts of the Middle East.

Kingdom Supercultures — $25M Series B

  • Developing natural microbial cultures for “plant-based yogurts and cheeses that taste like real dairy, low-alcohol wines and beers with full flavor, and natural preservatives that work better than artificial ones”

  • Their press release reads like a science novel written by a chef. Yum.

Smallhold — $25M Series B

  • Growing indoor mushrooms (a glimpse of the future)

  • “Investors are betting that consumer trends in favor of supporting local supply chains, climate-friendly meatless eating and upcycling from industrial waste streams will all converge in the mushroom industry.” - Forbes

If this is your version of catnip, then you might also like these:

Shout out to AgFunder News for their perfect coverage of this space.

Let’s reshape our biological neural nets.

If you haven’t heard of the futurists Ray Kurzweil and Peter Diamandis, well, then welcome to the future.

On Ray from Wikipedia:

  • In October 2010, Kurzweil released his report, "How My Predictions Are Faring" in PDF format, analyzing the predictions he made in his book The Age of Intelligent Machines (1990), The Age of Spiritual Machines (1999) and The Singularity is Near (2005). Of the 147 predictions, Kurzweil claimed that 115 were "entirely correct", 12 were "essentially correct", 17 were "partially correct", and only 3 were "wrong". Combining the "entirely" and "essentially" correct, Kurzweil's claimed accuracy rate comes to 86%.

On Peter from his website:

  • He has started over 20 companies in the areas of longevity, space, venture capital and education. He is co-founder of BOLD Capital Partners, a venture fund with $250M investing in exponential technologies; founder and chairman of the X Prize Foundation; and co-founder and Vice Chairman of Celularity, Inc., a cellular therapeutics company.

They have created a news curation service called Futureloop to rewire our brains to see hope and possibilities, instead of the oppressive doom and gloom that we’re fed by typical media sources.

See below.

I’ve just signed up. Moonshot goals and more optimistic thinking, here I come.

The wisdom of fart analogies.

Oh yeah, I said that.

What’s the origin?

My wife was sharing advice that she had read about how to parent teenagers. We have two of them, and I’m slipping on the learning curve.

“Communication with a teenager is like a fart. If you push too hard, it turns to shit.”

Crude? Yep, super gross.

Wise? Hell yeah.

Aside from the parenting lesson it provides me, I wonder how it might also apply to how we (micro)manage our teams.

I don’t know, but sharing this particular nugget may not work as well at the office.

(Fun fact: Microsoft Word’s Editor did not know what to do when it came across the f-word in this newsletter. I think it might have been offended.)

That’s all, folks.

Make it a great week, because it’s usually a choice.

— Chris

P.S. Small Actions x Many Years = Big Results

The average human walks +/- 80,000 miles throughout their lifetime. That’s the equivalent of walking around the world three times. So, what are your small actions going to be for the next [50] years?

Dr. Chris Wedding
Founder and Chief Catalyst, Entrepreneurs for Impact
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