Comment on "Venture Capital and the Transformation of Private R&D for Agriculture: A First Look"
The authors document changes to the finance ecosystem for entrepreneurial firms in the agriculture sector. Using a unique combination of several proprietary databases, the empirical analysis reveals strong correlations between the flows to startups and signals of investment opportunities. The paper could be improved on three dimensions. First, a careful review of the database creation with particular attention paid to the variation in industry and coverage differences by data provider. Next, more evidence is needed to convincingly demonstrate that the financing environment changed in agriculture in ways different from that experienced in all of the startup ecosystem. Finally, the authors have many opportunities to explore how venture capital investments dynamics are connected to changes in the agriculture industry or changes to the supply side of the market.
The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Michael Ewens advises the venture capital firm Correlation Ventures, which supplied some of the data used in the paper. They had no input on the research.