WINNIPEG, Manitoba — FarmersEdge, a precision agriculture and independent data management solutions company, announced 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 FarmersEdge 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 Otake. "Meeting that global goal is what drove our first investment in Farmers Edge. Today, as FarmersEdge 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."
The investment comes on the heels of a significant growth period for FarmersEdge, 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, FarmersEdge 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 FarmersEdge. "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 FarmersEdge. "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."