David Albert Friedberg (born 1979 or 1980[1]) is an American entrepreneur, businessman, and angel investor.[2] He founded and was chief executive of The Climate Corporation, whose $1.1 billion sale to Monsanto in 2013 made it the first unicorn in the emerging agricultural technology space.[3][4] He is founder and CEO of The Production Board (TPB). He is a co-host of the All-In podcast, alongside David Sacks, Jason Calacanis & Chamath Palihapitiya. Spanning his career, he has contributed to 32 patents.[5]

David Friedberg
Friedberg in 2020
Born1979 or 1980 (age 43–44)
South Africa
CitizenshipSouth African, American
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley
Occupation(s)Entrepreneur, businessman, angel investor

Early life and education

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Friedberg was born c. 1980 in South Africa.[1] At age six, Friedberg moved with his family to Los Angeles, California.[6] In high school, Friedberg was president of the environmental club "Students H.O.P.E." (Students Healing Our Planet Earth).[7] At age 16, he entered Clarkson University, in Potsdam, New York, where he worked in a pool hall and learned to play poker.[1] After one year in upstate New York, he transferred to University of California, Berkeley, where he had a part-time job doing mathematical modeling at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and received a bachelor's degree in astrophysics in 2001.[8]

Career

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Google

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After several years in investment banking and private equity, Friedberg joined Google in March 2004 as one of the first 1,000 employees and a founding member of Google's Corporate Development group.[9] As Corporate Development and Business Product Manager, Friedberg helped run Google's online advertising platform, AdWords, and negotiated acquisitions and worked with Google co-founder Larry Page.[10]

The Climate Corporation

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In 2006, he founded his first company, WeatherBill, to create and buy custom weather insurance online. Friedberg was still working at Google as a business product manager when the idea for the company came to him.[11] He was driving past the Bike Hut in San Francisco and seeing sales slump on rainy days[12] as the thought occurred to him that the impact of weather on a business must be a big problem.

WeatherBill secured funding from Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures, Google Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Index Ventures and Atomico.[13] In 2011, Friedberg changed WeatherBill's name to The Climate Corporation.[14] The Climate Corporation focused on offering farmers weather insurance and the climate.com service to help them track, analyze, and make field-specific decisions on their farms to improve farming outcomes. On 5 October 2011, Friedberg gave his Entrepreneurship Gives Life Meaning lecture[15] at Stanford.

In October 2013, Monsanto announced that it was acquiring The Climate Corporation for about $1.1 billion.[16] Friedberg joined Monsanto's Executive Team after the acquisition and in 2016 shifted to an advisory role.[17]

The Production Board

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In 2016, Friedberg began talking with Larry Page about a way to build and finance more startups focused on food, agriculture, decarbonization and life sciences.[18] Through parent company Alphabet, Page agreed to help finance a holding company that Friedberg would operate.[19] Friedberg founded The Production Board (TPB) in 2016.[20]

TPB partners with scientists, businesspeople, and entrepreneurs to solve the world's challenges, such as climate change.[21] TPB portfolio businesses include Pattern Ag, Ohalo, Culture Biosciences, Triplebar Bio, Supergut and Cana.[18] In July 2021, Friedberg announced that The Production Board raised $300 million from Alphabet, Baillie Gifford, Allen & Co., BlackRock, Koch Disruptive Technologies and Morgan Stanley's Counterpoint Global.[18]

Boards of directors and other roles

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Friedberg founded car insurance firm Metromile in 2011 and was its chairman during its early years.[22][23] He is also an angel investor in various technology, food, agriculture, and life sciences startups. In 2014, he purchased Canadian quinoa supplier NorQuin, North America's largest supplier of quinoa.[24] In 2022, Above Food Corp. acquired Norquin[25] and appointed Friedberg to its Innovation Advisory Council.[26]

Personal life

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Friedberg is one of the four co-hosts of All-In, a business and investment podcast with Chamath Palihapitiya, David O. Sacks, and Jason Calacanis.[27]

Friedberg is a lifelong vegetarian.[7]

References

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  1. ^ a b c Specter, Michael (3 November 2013). "Climate by Numbers". The New Yorker. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  2. ^ "David Friedberg | AgileList". Angel.co. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  3. ^ Burwood-Taylor, Louisa (21 February 2019). "Founder of Agtech's First Unicorn David Friedberg Reveals Investment Portfolio of The Production Board | Ag Funder News". AgFunder News. Retrieved 11 September 2022.
  4. ^ Wolf, Michael (24 June 2020). "Talking 23andMe For Farms, Bioreactors-as-a-Service & Other Crazy FoodTech Ideas With Dave Friedberg". The Spoon. Retrieved 11 September 2022.
  5. ^ "Google Patents". patents.google.com. Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  6. ^ "Anything Is Possible with Dave Friedberg | Where It Happens". YouTube. 3 March 2022. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  7. ^ a b Specter, Michael (3 November 2013). "Why The Climate Corporation Sold Itself to Monsanto". The New Yorker. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  8. ^ Vahradyan, Ani (22 February 2017). "David Friedberg: Astrophysics, Eatsa, and Everything In Between". Berkeley Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  9. ^ Woody, Todd (28 February 2011). "WeatherBill raises $42 million". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 September 2022.
  10. ^ Bunge, Jacob (4 September 2014). "Monsanto, Under Attack for GMOs, Has a New Defender | Wall Street Journal". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  11. ^ Martin, Bobby (24 May 2016). The Hockey Stick Principles: The 4 Key Stages to Entrepreneurial Success. Flatiron Books. p. 131. ISBN 978-1-250-06638-1.
  12. ^ Gullickson, Gil (18 November 2013). "How Climate Corporation Built Big Weather Data". Successful Farming. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  13. ^ Arrington, Michael (15 January 2007). "WeatherBill Launches, Announces All Star Investors". TechCrunch. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  14. ^ "Weatherbill changes company name to The Climate Corporation". Artemis. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  15. ^ Tucker, Patrick (24 February 2015). The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move?. Penguin. p. 80. ISBN 978-1-59184-770-0.
  16. ^ Tsotsis, Alexia (2 October 2013). "Monsanto Buys Weather Big Data Company Climate Corporation For Around $1.1B". TechCrunch. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  17. ^ Bunge, Jacob (23 March 2016). "Monsanto Executive David Friedberg Shifting to Advisory Role | Wall Street Journal". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  18. ^ a b c Levy, Ari (20 July 2021). "Early Google exec got Larry Page's backing to build a start-up factory focused on saving the planet | CNBC". CNBC. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  19. ^ "David Friedberg's Alphabet-backed Production Board raised $300 million | Planet Concerns". Planet Concerns. 30 July 2021. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  20. ^ "Crazy FoodTech Ideas With Dave Friedberg | The Spoon". The Spoon. 24 June 2020. Retrieved 11 September 2022.
  21. ^ "The Production Board's Dave Friedberg: "Technology will save the day - hopefully"". Danny in the Valley. 19 August 2021. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  22. ^ Sawers, Paul (21 September 2016). "Per-mile car insurance firm Metromile has raised $191.5 million since 2014, now underwrites its own policies". VentureBeat.
  23. ^ "SEC Form S-1 | SEC". SEC. 30 July 2021. Archived from the original on 17 April 2021. Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  24. ^ Little, Amanda (17 December 2016). "Quinoa is the new Big Mac". The New Yorker. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  25. ^ Danley, Sam (19 May 2022). "Above Food acquires quinoa supplier| Food Business News". Food Business News. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  26. ^ "Above Food Appoints David Friedberg to Innovation Advisory Council| Yahoo.com". Yahoo.com. 2 June 2022. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  27. ^ "All-In with Chamath, Jason, Sacks & Friedberg". The All In Podcast. Retrieved 4 February 2023.


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