Climate change and agriculture are deeply intertwined. Agriculture is responsible for a significant portion of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, while climate change is changing farming by introducing new challenges. The best solutions to mitigating climate change lie in the dynamically changing agriculture sector, and the answer to improving agriculture and global food production lies in technology.

To Deal With Climate Change, We Need Agricultural Innovation — Now by Robert T. Fraley on The Huffington read more

Here at ID, we are always interested and excited to hear news coming out of the precision agriculture space all around the world. The following articles detail recent purchases and venture investments in this sector. We need to increase food production sustainably all around the world, and we’re pleased to see activity everywhere from Europe to South America.

Raven Buys Dutch Precision Ag Firm on Farm Futures
Publicly traded Raven Industries (RAVN) announced its purchase
read more

Solar energy has been on a roll in recent years, helped by a drastic 64% decrease in the price of photovoltaic cells since 2008. Thanks to falling costs, over 2 million solar lanterns were sold in 2012, expected to increase 75% a year in Africa alone. Lowering costs and increasing affordability will be the biggest drivers for the continued growth of solar, so investments at both the project and product level are important to watch.… read more

At ID, we’re interested in the growing “Internet of Things” (IoT) trend, especially in the energy and agriculture sectors. In energy, IoT allows for remote monitoring and management of pay-as-you-go and other smart grid systems. In agriculture, it can give farmers fast insight on their crops and livestock without having to physically inspect them. This week, we’re highlighting examples in the news of both applications and a glimpse at the technology development.

‘Internet of things’ read more

This week was an exciting one for agriculture technology startups. New deals, including two involving our portfolio companies, marked yet another step forward in the pursuit of increased yields, long-term profits and improved quality of life for farmers and consumers.

Invested Development backs India’s CropIn by Louisa Burwood-Taylor on Agri Investor
We were excited to announce our investment in CropIn Technology Solutions and chat with Agri Investor about the deal.  CropIn provides real time information … read more

Solar energy is one of the biggest potential sources for decentralized energy. Check out news from the last few weeks on the latest news in the solar industry.

Nebo Suggests Adoption Of Solar Energy By Africa on Leadership Newspaper

Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, recently suggested that African countries should embrace solar energy as a major form of power generation for the continent. He cited the expansive solar resources that Africa holds and … read more

With our vested interest in agriculture technology, we are always excited to hear about new developments in the agriculture sector. Below are some of the best articles about the future of agriculture technology.

Tradition Meets Technology: The Changing Face of Agriculture by Elizabeth Arakelian on Turlock Journal

Agriculture is a $395 billion industry in the United States, but the average age of the American farmer is 58 years old. The inclusion of technology in the … read more

With our interest in technology in emerging markets, we are always interested in new ideas to increase Internet access. Check out some of these innovative approaches to increasing the efficiency and scope of Internet access in the developing world.

The Small Brick-Shaped Device Can Help Get Millions of Africans Online by Adele Peters on Fast.Co Exist

Even in large cities in Africa, Internet access is difficult to find and often unreliable. However, the BRCK can … read more

One of the ways the technology startups can maximize their social impact and achieve success is by learning from the mistakes and successes of other organizations. Below are a few pieces of advice, opportunities, and lessons learned that startups should keep in mind.

An Inside Look At Running a Cleantech Startup in India” by Rupesh Shah on GreenBiz
In order to ensure that a startup is moving in the correct direction, it is … read more

With our vested interest in alternative energy and emerging markets, we are always excited to see startups in and out of the portfolio recognized for their efforts, whether that’s through finding an investor match of simply receiving credit on well-respected publications. Below are some of the exciting developments in the alternative energy startup space over the past few weeks.

Ghana-Based Renewable Energy Startup Acquired in an Estimated 7-Figure Deal by Shea Gunther on Mother Nature read more

Remittances and mobile money have played a big role in promoting financial inclusion in emerging markets. Currently it’s a market dominated by big players like Western Union, but more and more often we’re seeing localized startups like Remit in Uganda looking to make financial services even easier and more inclusive.

Safaricom Deal to Allow Diaspora to Send Money to M-Pesa Accounts” by Chris Udemans on HumanIPO

The growth of mobile technology has had … read more

The food and agriculture industry, from big to small, from the US to Africa, will undergo a new wave of technology adoption in the next 5-10 years. The core theme driving this adoption is the need for food security and food safety.

Agricultural Technologies Could Increase Global Crop Yields as Much as 67 Percent and Cut Food Prices Nearly in Half by 2050” by International Food Policy Research Institute

The world’s population is … read more

Due to our focus on a emerging markets, and our range of portfolio companies that are located in Africa, we have a vested interest in the progress and success of African markets. Here are some of the stories that caught our attention regarding investment in African development.

Africa: Why Addis Still Matters More Than Davos by Liesl Louw-Vaudran in AllAfrica.com

Over the last few weeks delegations have meet in Davos, Switzerland, at the World Economic read more

With mobile technology as one of our key investment themes, mobile money has been exemplary in defining the impact that mobile can have on access to finance for both individuals and organizations. Here’s what we read this week on the latest news in mobile money.

Mobile Money Transforms Kenyan Banking Market from Mobile Payments Today

As one of the best examples of successful mobile money adoption, 64% of Kenyans now actively use their mobile phone … read more

We are always researching the latest innovations in the agriculture technology sector for potential investments for the BSP Fund. Here are some of the stories that caught our attention this week.

Robot Farmers are the Future of Agriculture, says Government by Fiona Harvey
Development of an increasing number of “farmbots” is beginning to take place in many countries. These robots and drones are specially made to perform time-consuming agricultural tasks, such as weeding, pruning, … read more

This week we focused on the growing push of technology in the agricultural sector. An estimated 50% of the world’s land is used for agriculture. With the world’s growing population, we need an increase in food production and sustainable agricultural practices to support upcoming generations. By 2050, the global population is expected to exceed 9 billion people. We are always looking for innovators and start-ups that can bring innovation and technology to the agricultural sector.… read more

After nearly a decade of increases, GDP growth in Latin America slowed from 4.4 percent in 2011 to 3.2 percent in 2012 and 4.0 percent in 2013. Despite slowing growth, Latin American countries are still innovating and embracing new ICT. We are always looking for start ups and innovators to bring technology to Latin America.

‘Colombia will be 1st country in Latin America completely connected to internet:’ Santos by Daniel Freeman on Colombia Reports
Recently, … read more

Agriculture employs 65% of Africa’s labor force and accounts for 32% of gross domestic product overall. Of the 65% employed, smallholder farmers produce 80% of Africa’s food. With modern technology, African countries are taking initiatives to change the agricultural sector.

Science Agriculture Estate Programme to Begins Next Year on Ghana News Agency
On November 19, Seth Terkper, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, announced that the Ghanaian government will begin working on an … read more

Developing countries received over $400 billion in remittances in 2012 according to a World Bank (see our infographic on remittances here). This is a great example of how mobile money has changed the way people send money by making it easier and safer. This week, we read many stories detailing both progress and challenges in the sector. We are always looking for innovative entrepreneurs that piggyback on the success of mobile money to provide … read more

Wind energy has been used for centuries to move ships, pump water, and grind grain. It’s now one of the most cost-effective sources of new generation, competing with new installations of coal, gas and nuclear power. We are always looking for innovative technologies that can resolve the energy access gap.

Wind power seen generating up to 18% of global power by 2050 on International Energy Agency
By 2050, wind power could generate up to 18% … read more

At ID, we invest in for-profit social enterprises because we believe in their potential to create impact at scale. However, there are some misconceptions and barriers have prevented social ventures from receiving capital. In this week’s reading we hope to provide a better understanding of impact investing and the work that investors, NGOs, and policy makers are doing to remove the barriers.

Impact Investing Goes Mainstream in Ontario, Canada on Triple Pundit
Today the worlds … read more

With the upcoming GSMA Mobile for Development Summit, we focused our weekly reading on mobile money and technology. Mobile money has become a mainstream service for MNOs in emerging markets posing both benefits and risks. We are always looking for innovators and startups that can piggyback on these innovations to promote financial inclusion at the bottom of the pyramid.

Mobile money transforming Africa by Arthur Goldstruck on Mark Lives

Since the first mobile payments … read more

This week we focused our reading on the benefits and use of clean energy. By 2030, the United Nations aims to double energy efficiency and renewable energy worldwide and declared this decade one of Sustainable Energy For All. Over 1.4 billion people lack access to basic electricity, 95% of which live in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. We are always looking for innovative technologies that can resolve the energy access gap.

Solving Energy Poverty With Solar read more

This week we focused on the use of Big Data in agriculture. Big Data is changing the agriculture market and creating sustainable farming. We are always looking for innovation and new start-ups that can lead us to sustainable farming methods.

The Next Big Market for Data and Connected Devices – Agriculture by Stacey Higginbotham on Gigaom

As the local food and sustainable farming movements grow, Big Data is helping farmers grow produce more food at … read more

In this week’s reading we focused on food waste throughout the world. Each year nearly 30% of the world’s farmland is used to grow food that is not eaten, adding up to 4 billion tons of food waste. Food waste contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and cost inefficiencies. We are always looking for innovators and start-ups that can use technology to reduce this waste.

Fixation with food safety means so much of it goes to read more