Agricultural startups represent the next frontier for venture capitalists

April 2, 2010

In case you missed it, yesterday’s Wall Street Journal featured an article on the rise of agriculture-related startups in Silicon Valley and beyond. The story included Harvest Power and featured our CEO Paul Sellew.

Silicon Valley is returning to its roots. The tech-centric area, once known for farming, has seen a sharp rise in the number of agriculture-related startups.

According to the article, written by John Letzing, U.S. venture investments in agriculture and forestry rose from five in 2000 to 11 last year, bringing in more than $42 million in 2009.

Harvest Power serves as a strong example of the promising growth in our industry. Here is an excerpt:

“Venture capitalist Amol Deshpande (of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers) helped start Harvest Power Inc. in 2008; the firm uses organic materials to produce compost for the farming industry. Harvest Power Chief Executive Paul Sellew says the Waltham, Mass., company closed its first funding round last year and has now raised more than $40 million.

“Kleiner did its homework before approaching Mr. Sellew, a 25-year veteran of agriculture-related businesses, says the CEO. ‘They knew about my background,’ he says.”

Read the full article here.

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