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Farmers Business Network Announces $40M Series C

March 8, 2017

Farmers Business Network Inc. (FBN), the company behind the independent farmer-to-farmer network built to connect farmers and allow for the sharing of data, insights, and information critical to agronomic decision making, announced a $40 million Series C led by GV (formerly Google Ventures), and including DBL Partners, Bow Capital, Acre Venture Partners, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer.

Through the introduction of this unbiased and anonymous platform, FBN is harnessing the potential of data science to create a positive impact on the farming sector and its producers – creating a space where farmers can share data on input prices, to efficacy of products, to seed performance.

Launched in 2014 by agricultural entrepreneur and Chief Executive Amol Deshpande and Vice President Charles Baron, FBN’s technology involves collecting data streams from more than 85 million acre events of precision agronomic data, ranging from planting data, to pest information, to chemical applications to yields and harvest results.

“Today, we’re doubling down on our mission to empower farmers to increase profits through data-driven decisions and radically different business models,” said Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. CEO and co-founder Amol Deshpande. “Farmers of the future will use technology to level the playing field with their trading partners in big ag.”

FBN then analyzes the data to deliver a benchmark against which farmers can measure their own methods and results, or identify problems that need addressing.

“We created FBN to be growers’ advocate and to allow them to use information in fundamentally new ways, which helps them to be more profitable and thrive on their land,” Charles Baron, co-founder of FBN told GAI News in a previous interview.

Additionally, the FBN Direct farm-commerce platform works with input manufacturers to provide significantly reduced prices to network member-farmers; creating a higher level of transparency that has worked to save farmers up to 50 percent on the cost of critical inputs.

“The rising input costs and dips in commodity prices are making it harder than ever to start and maintain a farm,” said Andy Wheeler, general partner at GV. “By providing access to critical data about what’s working for other farmers and how much they’re paying for different inputs, the FBN network is driving the next wave of yield increases in agriculture for farmers.”

A Rapid Rise

In the few years since its launch, FBN has experienced rapid growth and a dynamic expansion of its business and offerings.

FBN Direct now encompasses more than 500 agricultural chemicals, fertilizers, seeds, and seed treatments, and has made more than 1,000 deliveries in its first year. And last year, FBN analytics launched its Price Transparency platform for chemicals and seeds, which now includes more than 25,000 member invoices for inputs, helping members to save on purchases.

“Cutting costs is the name of the game in farming right now,” commented Todd Eney, a farmer in Cut Bank, Montana, in a release announcing FBN’s Series C. “We started off using Farmers Business Network(SM) for the data analytics and have since expanded to buying directly with FBN Direct and Price Transparency. All the FBN tools allow us to increase profits, save time and save money, making it a no-brainer.”

The company, whose network members now span 38 states and approximately 13 million acres of farmland, also has developed data-driven crop marketing service, and is directly connecting growers with a network of global buyers.

“As each new farmer joins the FBN Network, every member’s seed information, agronomic analytics, and buying power gets stronger,” states the company on its website. “When farmers connect, farmers win – and the services, technology, and network keep growing.”

 

-Lynda Kiernan

Lynda Kiernan is Editor with GAI Media and daily contributor to GAI News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration please contact Ms. Kiernan at lkiernan@globalaginvesting.com.

 

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