Farmers Edge Secures Additional $3.2M from Osmington Inc.

May 24, 2016

Toronto-based commercial real estate firm, Osmington Inc., has exercised a $3.2 million investment option in precision agriculture and data management leader, Farmers Edge.

Founded in 1995 and owned by David Thomson, chairman of Thomson Reuters, Toronto-based Osmington Inc. is a private commercial firm that has historically focused on real estate investments. However, four years ago the firm began investing in farmland as a means of diversification and achieving expansion into a non-correlated asset class. Then, in 2015 Osmington made its first technology investment, backing Farmers Edge as the firm noted how big data and precision agricultural analytics were gaining traction and becoming a principal value-add investment component.

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 of precision agriculture and independent data management solutions in the world.

“As our interest in farming grows, it’s clear that access to field-centric data will ultimately add value to the entire agricultural industry, including seed companies, fertilizer companies, and even commodity traders who want to know what is happening in the fields before others,” said Lawrence Zucker, president and CEO of Osmington in a recent company statement

This investment is the latest development for Farmers Edge, which has had a dynamic year already. In January, the company announced it had 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.

Weeks later, Farmers Edge announced the expansion of its Brazilian operations and the establishment of a regional headquarters in Campinas, São Paulo. The company also announced the appointment of former Monsanto executive, Lucas Trindade as General Manager of Brazilian Operations, who will be tasked with overseeing the growth of Farmers Edge’s market presence in the country by a factor of ten by the end of 2016.

Most recently, at the end of April, Farmers Edge announced it was partnering with Eastern Colorado Seeds with the goal of expanding its presence and increasing farmer adoption across the U.S. Plains region.

This year also brought expansion in the U.S., with the opening of an Iowa headquarters in Ames, and a new partnership with Delta Agribusiness in New South Wales, Australia. The precision ag company now has a foot in each of the world’s top agricultural production regions including Canada, the U.S., South America, Russia, and Australia.

This latest investment made by Osmington will be used to fund “the growth of Farmers Edge into global markets and fuel its aggressive push into building a world-class data analytics team,” according to the company.

Commenting on the investment, Wade Barnes, president and CEO of Farmers Edge said, “Osmington’s increased commitment to Farmers Edge will enable further development of easy-to-use technologies that leverage new levels of data for advanced precision agronomy.”

Lynda Kiernan

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