Understanding the AgTech Investor – Future of Agriculture Podcast

Understanding the agtech investor: 

Steve Sarracino is the Founder of Activant Capital, a business that invests in growth-stage tech companies worldwide. They provide funding for businesses in commerce, Internet of Things, and data-driven companies. For agriculture, Steve prefers data-driven companies because they can act as a source of truth not just for farmers, but also for consumers. He obtained his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and his BA in Finance and Economics at Southern Methodist University.

Steve joins me today to discuss how the farmers can benefit from data-driven startups and how it can have positive effects on the ag industry. He describes the current business models that govern the ag industry and the emerging trends in startups. He also shares the type of business models farmers need and describes the kind of companies they’re looking to invest in as well as what new ag startups should seek to address.


“Farming is basically a dirty data problem.” – Steve Sarracino



This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:


  • The current setup in the AgTech industry.
  • The type of business model that can help today’s farmers.
  • Why there’s a reluctance from farmers to change business models.
  • Their criteria in looking for ag business investments.
  • How their investment process works from start to finish.
  • The types of business leaders they like working with.
  • Problems in agriculture new startups should tackle.


Key Takeaways:


  • If you can partner with the right technology firm and sell direct, that can change the economic model.
  • The average farmer makes about 120 important decisions, all affected by data.


Resources Mentioned:




Connect with Steve Sarracino:





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Tim Hammerich

Tim is a strategic communications consultant, founder of AgGrad, and the host of the "Future of Agriculture" podcast. Originally from California, he is now based out of Boise, Idaho.