Spotlight: NYT & Yahoo Interview with Sara Menker, CEO of Gro Intelligence

Last month The New York Times highlighted Sara Menker's company Gro Intelligence as a start-up raising money "in a bid to create business benchmarks for climate risk." This week Yahoo Finance is featuring the Ethiopian-born former Wall Street commodities trader as part of its 'Influencers' series discussing "the challenges of food security, how Covid exposed the world’s agriculture system, and why [Sara] says we may be a few years away from a global food crisis." Below are excerpts and links to both stories. (Photo by Gabriela Celeste, via Gro Intelligence)

Yahoo Finance

Sara Menker spoke to Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer in an episode of “Influencers with Andy Serwer,” a weekly interview series with leaders in business, politics, and entertainment.

Born and raised in Ethiopia, Menker moved to the United States for college at Mt. Holyoke and later received a master’s degree in business administration from Columbia University. She worked as a commodities trader at Morgan Stanley for eight years, but left in 2012 to improve the quality and accessibility of data in the agricultural sector.

Two years later, she launched Gro Intelligence, which aggregates thousands of data sources to model conditions that affect global agricultural output, such as drought and floods.

Speaking with Yahoo Finance, Menker said the protectionist policies last year that rocked the food supply chain will likely worsen as climate change exacerbates global instability.

“More uncertainty means more protectionism,” she says.

Read the full article and watch the video at »

A start-up raises money in a bid to create business benchmarks for climate risk.

Sara Menker, the chief executive of Gro Intelligence. Credit…Gabriela Celeste, via Gro Intelligence

The New York Times

As companies and regulators increasingly see climate change as a business threat, the data company Gro Intelligence is devising indexes that it says can track climate risks in a granular way — and could create a new class of financial investments.

The company is developing indexes to measure conditions like drought, floods, temperature and more, according to Sara Menker, its founder and chief executive. For example, its software aggregates 46 variables into a single measure of drought severity on a scale from zero to five.

These indexes, along with a new $85 million fund-raising round that Gro will announce on Friday, the DealBook newsletter reports, are the latest signs of the financial industry’s efforts to generate money from environmental initiatives.

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