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Venture-backed Farmer’s Business Network buys Haplotech

The Canadian affiliate of Farmer’s Business Network has acquired Haplotech, a Winnipeg-based provider of research, technical and consulting services in seed breeding.

The Canadian affiliate of Farmer’s Business Network has acquired Haplotech, a Winnipeg-based provider of research, technical and consulting services in seed breeding. No financial terms were disclosed. San Carlos, California-based FBN is a direct-to-farm ag tech platform and farmer network. In August, it raised $250 million in a Series F financing led by BlackRock.

PRESS RELEASE

October 27, 2020

SAN CARLOS, Calif. & CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. (FBN®), the leading direct-to-farm ag tech platform and farmer network, today announced the acquisition of Haplotech Inc., a Winnipeg-based market leading provider of research, technical and consulting services in seed breeding.

FBN Canada, a wholly-owned unit of FBN, is also purchasing the unique Canadian canola breeding program and pipeline of San Diego-based Cibus. As part of the agreement, Cibus has also provided FBN with a license to sell its canola Pod Shatter Reduction trait upon commercialization.

Combined, these acquisitions will help bring increased competition to the seed industry and represent the latest move by FBN to put Farmers First. FBN is also opening the door for unprecedented collaboration with other seed developers that need elite germplasm to enhance their own programs, and supporting independent developers with promising traits that have had, until now, no clear path to market.

“Bringing more competition and choice to the seed market, extending an invitation to the rest of the industry to collaborate on development, and providing a straight path to market is the latest way FBN is working to help farmers maximize their profits and improve ROI,” said Breen Neeser, Country Manager of FBN Canada. “These acquisitions also underscore FBN’s commitment to Canada, its farmers, and its rural economies.”

These acquisitions position FBN Canada to eventually commercialize canola seed, the second biggest crop in Canada and a market that has long been dominated by too few industry players.

The entire Haplotech team will become FBN Canada employees. In addition to its Winnipeg headquarters, Haplotech also has field capacity in Western Canada and in Chile. Haplotech Founder and President, Dr. Rale Gjuric, will lead FBN Canada’s Seed R&D team. Gjuric, a distinguished academic, previously served as the Director of the Plant Breeding Academy at the University of California, Davis, an institution renowned for its pioneering agricultural research.

“For too long canola farmers have been subject to industry consolidation, leaving them with fewer price choices,” said Gjuric. “We’re excited to join FBN Canada and provide a path to commercialize canola seed and bring Canadian farmers true market competition for their business.”

The acquisitions also highlight the innovative agricultural research being conducted in Winnipeg, which is considered the agricultural capital of Canada. Canola, a variety of rapeseed, was first developed at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg in the 1970s.
“We’re proud to support the Winnipeg economy and strengthen our relationship with this vital Canadian community,” says Neeser. “We look forward to bringing increased competition to the Canadian seed market and ensuring family farmers are always put first.”

About FBN:
Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. is an independent ag tech platform and farmer-to-farmer network with a mission to power the prosperity of family farmers around the world, while working towards a sustainable future. Its Farmers First® promise has attracted over 16,000 members to the network with a common goal of maximizing their farm’s profit potential. FBN has set out to redefine value and convenience for farmers by helping reduce the cost of production and maximize the value of their crops.

The FBN network has grown to cover more than 49 million acres of member farms in the U.S., Canada and Australia. Blending the best of Midwestern agricultural roots and Silicon Valley technology, the company has over 600 personnel and offices in San Carlos, Calif., Chicago, Ill., Sioux Falls, S.D., a Canadian Headquarters in High River, Alberta and an Australian Headquarters in Perth.

To learn more, visit: www.fbn.com.