Jerusalem Post Interviews Arama Kukutai at AgriVest
The Jerusalem Post interviewed Finistere Ventures partner, Arama Kukutai, at AgriVest 2016. Mr. Kukutai presented at AgriVest 2016 regarding the technology farmers need most, the components of disruptive Ag technology and what AgTech startups need to do to turn investor interest into pervasive market traction. In an article titled Agritech investor: Opportunities abound with Israeli entrepreneurs Arama discusses the importance of the Israeli AgTech Sector:
Israel has risen to become one of four agritech regions in the world that Kukutai considers to be “world class” – alongside North America, Australasia and Europe.
“In my opinion, it’s No. 2, in line with America,” he said. “I think it’s in front of Europe.”
Australasia and Europe might have higher budgets for public research and development, according to Kukutai, but Israel simply has “more entrepreneurs” in the agricultural technology sector.
“I think it’s one of the world’s leading centers of excellence from a technology standpoint, starting with research at places like Weizmann [Institute] and Volcani [Center] and many decades of distinguished scientists,” he said.
The beauty of agricultural technology is the way the sector is “equipped to adapt” to existing know-how, Kukutai explained.
“Agriculture is really a cannibalizer of other technologies,” he said, noting that the sector has become intertwined with fields like genomics, synthetic biology and software – areas in which Israel particularly excels.
“Agriculture is the last great industry to get digitized,” he added.
While Finistere Ventures still mostly focuses on American companies, one of the firm’s key investments is the Israeli adaptive irrigation service CropX. The Tel Aviv-based company received $9 million in initial financing from Finistere, Innovation Endeavors and GreenSoil Investments in June 2015.