14 Ag Companies Raise $32M Using AgFunder.com with CEO Rob Leclerc

rob-leclerc

In Episode #450, Nathan interviews Robert Leclerc, co-founder of Agfunder – an online investment market place for global agriculture industry. He is a Forbes contributor and has five degrees including a PhD from Yale. Listen as Rob talks about the global agriculture industry and how important Agfunder is for the investors.

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Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Mini MBA
  • What CEO do you follow? – N/A
  • Favorite online tool? — MailChimp
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Definitely not
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? – N/A

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:44 – Nathan introduces Robert to the show
  • 02:24 – Agriculture represents about 10% of global GDP
  • 02:40 – Agfunder’s idea is to create an online investment platform that made this space mainstream
    • 02:53 – Like AngelList in agriculture
  • 03:28 – Agfunder focus is food and agriculture technology
    • 03:40 – Eventually, they will be able to offer farm lands and agri-business
  • 03:55 – Technology is needed to centralize management and scale the opportunities
  • 04:10 – Started as a pure market place
    • 04:28 – Taking the transaction fees
  • 05:00 – Revenue in the first quarter of 2016
    • 05:11 – Raising capital funds
  • 05:35 – Total revenue In 2015
  • 05:43 – They are on venture-funding
  • 06:10 – Business was founded late 2013
  • 06:20 – $0 revenue for the first year
    • 06:40 – “We just need to know that the market works for the first year”
  • 06:58 – Number of investors
    • 07:38 – Investors seek them out
  • 07:56 – Number of sellers/companies
    • 08:10 – They are series A companies
  • 08:30 – Take 5% transaction fee to make money
    • 08:48 – Nathan’s sample scenario how to get the 5%
    • 09:45 – They we’re not taking any transaction fees for the first year
  • 10:07 – “In August 2016, how many investors put money into how many companies?”
    • 10:25 – There’s a deal timeline
    • 10:50 – Average raise size
  • 11:05 – Notes and actual equity funding
    • 11:18 – The companies set the market rate term
  • 11:45 – What’s so special with Agfunder?
    • 12:10 – When they started Agfunder, it was the dark ages of food and agriculture technology
    • 12:30 – Built a very progressive business model
  • 13:18 – 17 team members based in SF
  • 13:23 – Connect with Robert through Agfunder.com
  • 15:33 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. It is important for customers to know things about your company – transparency is the key.
  2. Agriculture is as important as food.
  3. There’s always a trial period – you either make or break it.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • Agfunder.com – Robert’s business website
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

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