Farmers Edge Precision Consulting Inc has received $58 million in follow-on financing. The round was led by existing investors Mitsui & Co Ltd, U.S. venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Osmington Inc. As a result, Mitsui’s Kenji Otake will join the company’s board of directors. Winnipeg-based Farmers Edge is a provider of precision agriculture and data management solutions. It plans to use the proceeds of the latest investment to expand the company’s data science team, new product development, and growth into South America, Australia and Eastern Europe. Founded in 2005, Farmers Edge is also backed by Canadian venture capital firm Avrio Capital.
Precision Agriculture Pioneer, Farmers Edge, Closes $58M Investment Led by Mitsui and Kleiner Perkins
Field-Centric Approach to Digitizing Farms Takes Root Across Russia, Brazil, Australia, Canada and the U.S.
WINNIPEG, Jan. 27, 2016 /CNW/ – Farmers Edge™, a global leader in precision agriculture and independent data management solutions, announced today it has received a $58 million CAD raise led by existing investors, Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’ Green Growth Fund and Osmington Inc. The investment will go towards the expansion of the data science team, new product development and global growth into South America, Australia and Eastern Europe. Kenji Otake, General Manager, First Business Dept., IT Platform Div. of Mitsui & Co., Ltd. will join the Farmers Edge Board of Directors.
“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. “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.”
“There’s a huge shift underway in agriculture as technology continues to enable the digitization of farming,” said Brook Porter, Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’ Green Growth Fund. “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.”
Today’s investment comes on the heels of a significant growth period for Farmers Edge, marked most notably by the opening of its U.S. headquarters in Minnesota, as well as its entrance into three of the world’s most prominent, emerging breadbaskets. In Brazil alone, there are nearly one billion acres of arable land that represent a significant and largely untapped market opportunity, primed for increased agricultural productivity. With partnerships across the industry, that bridge large multi-nationals to leading, regional agribusinesses, Farmers Edge has emerged as the prominent technology provider in the world’s largest agriculture markets.
“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.”
“Over the past decade, we’ve become the largest independent agricultural network in the world. As we move into this next high growth period, we will continue to expand into lucrative markets like the U.S., as well as Russia, Australia and Brazil, where our field-centric approach to predictive modeling is generating high yields even in data-sparse regions,” said Wade Barnes, President and CEO of Farmers Edge. “At the end of the day, our goal is to bring the precision agriculture movement to the largest broad acre markets in the world, creating a new generation of breadbasket regions in previously untapped land.”
Mitsui & Co., Ltd. is one of the most diversified and comprehensive trading, investment and service enterprises in the world, with 141 offices in 66 countries as of March, 2015. Utilizing its global operating locations, network and information resources, Mitsui is multilaterally pursuing business that ranges from product sales, worldwide logistics and financing, through to the development of major international infrastructure and other projects in the following fields: Iron & Steel Products, Mineral & Metal Resources, Infrastructure Projects, Integrated Transportation Systems, Chemicals, Energy, Food Resources, Food Products & Services, Consumer Services, IT & Communication, Corporate Development Business. Mitsui is actively taking on challenges for global business innovation around the world.
About Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) partners with the brightest entrepreneurs to turn disruptive ideas into world-changing businesses. The firm has helped build and accelerate growth at pioneering companies like Amazon, Google, Lending Club, Nest, Twitter, Uber, and Mandiant. KPCB offers entrepreneurs decades of operating experience, puts them at the center of an influential network, and accelerates their companies from success to significance. KPCB invests in all stages from seed and incubation to growth companies and operates from offices in Menlo Park, San Francisco, Shanghai and Beijing. For more information, visit www.kpcb.com and follow us on Twitter @kpcb.
About Osmington Inc.
Formed in 1995, Osmington is a private commercial real estate company, owned and controlled by David Thomson, Chairman of Thomson Reuters. Osmington operates with the highest degree of integrity and has a stellar reputation in the Canadian real estate market. The Company’s investment focus has been and continues to be focused on value creation. Signature projects for the Company include the retail redevelopment of Toronto’s Union Station and the purchase and relocation of NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg to become the Winnipeg Jets.
About Farmers Edge
Farmers Edge is a global leader in precision agriculture and independent data management solutions. Leading the development and application of new technologies on the farm, Farmers Edge is defining the future of agriculture through innovation. For more information on Farmers Edge, please visit: http://www.farmersedge.ca.
For further information: Media Contact: MissionCTRL Communications for Farmers Edge, FarmersEdge@MissionC2.com
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