Dec 1, 2017

Tech startup for farmers raises $110 million

Photo by Michael S. Williamson/Getty

Farmers Business Network, a farmer-to-farmer network for crowd-sourcing information on things like seed prices, has raised $110 million in new venture capital funding.

Why it matters: Independent farmers seem to be under siege on all sides, whether it be by their suppliers, mega-rivals or customers. This is an attempt to help even the playing field via both older Internet technology (a version of social networking) and newer technology (data analytics that can incorporate such things drone data and correct pricing for modified seed types).

Investors: T. Rowe Piece and Temasek co-led the round for San Carlos, Calif.-based FBN, and were joined by return backers Acre Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins, GV and DBL Partners.

Bottom line: "More than 170,000 people make their business by farming major crops, yet they have among the lowest return on their assets because they're so fragmented, leading to information asymmetry and a lack of bargaining power." — Connie Loizos, TechCrunch

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