Farmers Edge Closes on C$58M Round Led by Mitsui and Kleiner Perkins
January 27, 2016
Precision agriculture and data management company, Farmers Edge, announced it has closed on a C$58 million (US$41.2 million) investment round led by Mitsui and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’ Green Growth Fund, and including Osmington Inc.
"Global agriculture companies are looking for scalable business solutions to efficiently increase sustainability and traceability throughout the supply chain, and Farmers Edge has emerged as that market mover," said Brian Hayward, Chairman of Farmers Edge. "This investment signifies the confidence that Mitsui and existing investors place in Farmers Edge to tap into previously underutilized agriculture regions around the world."
Launched in 2005, Farmers Edge has leveraged the potential to transform agricultural production using Variable Rate Technology (VRT) to increase yields, efficiency, and sustainability for the long-term, becoming the largest independent agricultural network in the world. In line with this expansion, Farmers Edge plans to use the capital to fund the strengthening of its data science team, the development of new products, and its global growth.
"Today, Mitsui is responsible for the procurement of 17.5 million tons of food resources each year, including grains, corn and soybeans, and we are committed to increasing those levels, in a sustainable manner, as global population rises," said Kenji Otake of Mitsui & Co., Ltd. in a recent press release. "Meeting that global goal is what drove our first investment in Farmers Edge. Today, as Farmers Edge demonstrates its ability to operate in regions like Brazil that lack traditional infrastructure to support technology-enabled agriculture, our strategic alignment deepens."
This investment follows a period of notable growth for the company, including the opening of its U.S. headquarters in Minnesota, the opening of an Iowa headquarters in Ames, its partnership with Delta Agribusiness in New South Wales, and the expansion of its reach into the world’s top agricultural production regions including Canada, the U.S., South America, Russia, and Australia. Brazil on its own represents an enormous market with almost one billion acres of arable farmland with untapped potential for improved management and yields.
Commenting on the future of agricultural production and the role that Farmers Edge plays, Brook Porter, Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers' Green Growth Fund said, "There's a huge shift underway in agriculture as technology continues to enable the digitization of farming. Traditional incumbents are struggling to keep pace with this disruption, as farmers seek better tools to enable increased yields and profitability across multiple crops, in wide geographic regions around the world. Reducing costs while also reducing environmental impact is more important than ever – and Farmers Edge is leading this transformation."
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