Overnight, AgFunder released its 2017 Mid-Year Investing Report. You can download a free copy from here.

It identified that early stage investment in agrifood tech startups reached $4.4 billion in the first half of 2017, posting a 6% year-over-year increase reversing the downward trend of 2016 when agrifood tech investing dropped 17% to $6.9 billion from $8.3 billion in 2015.

Farmtech investment, which makes up a large proportion of New Zealand AgriTech investment deals, represented a quarter of total agrifood tech investing in H1-2017, reaching $1.13 billion, and accounting for seven of the year’s top 20 deals. The funding total represents a 56% year-over-year increase but is still below the record-breaking 2015 when startups raised $1.3 billion in H1-2015.

Talking of those New Zealand deals. Once again, no reference was made to any investment activity in New Zealand in the Mid-Year Investing report. I’ve talked about this before, but as a country and as a sector, we lack a coherent and compelling story when talking to the global market. Even that’s a bit of a stretch.

Very few, if any, of our deals appear on Crunchbase, a source of much of AgFunder’s deal flow data. Other countries have wised up and either utilise Crunchbase or go direct to Louisa and her great team at AgFunderNews. New Zealand, by contrast, retains its traditionally modest approach by restricting details of successful investment deals to the select few. The Israelis, the Dutch & the Irish, by contrast, suffer no such modesty. They celebrate their successful investment deals and let the rest of the world know.

The Mid-Year Investing Report also reported that near neighbours, Australia, had jumped into the top five most active countries with 10 published deals. By sheer coincidence, I caught up with John Brand, Australia’s Consul-General & Senior Trade Commissioner to New Zealand, yesterday. We talked about our respective AgriTech ecosystems and discussed how both countries could potentially work together to sell a regional story to the rest of the world. Certainly, in terms of attracting in-bound international AgriTech delegations, visiting both countries in one trip makes sense.

I have seen at first hand during my time in Silicon Valley how other regions such as Scandinavia work together as a pack to attract global interest & investment. It’s a regional conversation and opportunity I am keen to explore.

Securing international visibility for investment opportunities into New Zealand’s AgriTech sector is a critical lever for its future growth. It would be great to see those Kiwi companies and investors completing successful funding deals publish those details to CrunchBase. If that’s too much trouble, it is always possible to take the direct route. Just send your press release to Data@agfunder.com

Just sayin’………..