New York City-based AgFunder launched an equity-based crowdfunding platform in September that is bringing transparency and accelerated deal flow to the agriculture industry by making it easy to syndicate agricultural investment opportunities. Through its platform, agriculture, ag tech and food processing startups with a lead investor can raise capital from accredited investors.
This story in Forbes talks about AgFunder co-founder and CEO Rob Leclerc and how he first hatched the idea for "crowdfunding" in the ag industry while working as an associate and then as a Partner at SeedRock Capital Group, a venture capital firm focused on natural resources and agriculture. Leclerc had trouble raising additional capital for one of the fund’s investments in a West African agriculture project. He spent most of his time educating investors about opportunities in agriculture. “It made me say, there’s gotta be a better way to do this,” he explains.
AgFunder is focused on building and educating the company’s investor community, and is starting by creating funds for smaller opportunities that range between $500,000 to $1.5 million. In the future, however, he hopes to bring on much larger deals.
The opportunity has huge potential. Globally, agriculture production and services is a $2.56 trillion market, and when combined with food and beverage it’s a $6.7 trillion market, according to research from HighQuest Partners LLC. Leclerc says that they’ve identified 2 percent of very high net-worth United States residents that have invested in large agricultural projects. There is also growing interest from green tech and technology investors who are interested in diversifying their portfolios. For now, AgFunders success will really depend upon finding great projects and educating investors. To read more, click HERE.