AgTech startup Farmers Business Network secures $250M in Series F funding to expand direct-to-farm services and connect farmers to share knowledge
Farmers Business Network (FBN), a San Francisco-based agtech startup and an independent and unbiased, farmer-to-farmer agronomic information network, today announced it has closed $250 million in Series F funding to expand its Farmers First℠ FBN Direct℠ range of best value, direct-to-farm inputs including seed, crop protection and biologicals, which help farmers reduce their cost of production.
The round was led by funds and accounts managed by BlackRock Inc., with participation from new investors Baron Capital Group, Balyasny Asset Management LP, Mandi Ventures, Lupa Systems and Ron Shaich. FBN said it plans to also invest in continuing to build out its suite of cutting-edge FBN Crop Marketing and Financial Services solutions that help farmers maximize the value of their crops.
Founded in 2014 by Amol Deshpande and Charles Baron, Farmer’s Business Network 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 mission is to improve the livelihood of farmers by making data useful and accessible. FBN utilizes data science and machine learning to provide members with unbiased and unprecedented insights about each of their fields, powered by billions of data points from our network. IT provides farmers with product performance, benchmarking and predictive analytics based on real world performance data.
Since its inception, the FBN network has grown to cover more than 40 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.
Commenting on the funding, FBN Co-Founder and CEO Amol Deshpande, said: “Our mission as a company is to improve the profitability of farming families around the world for generations to come. Many farmers and ranchers were already struggling before the disruption and financial challenges brought on by the pandemic,” Deshpande added, “We will double down on putting farmers first by further investing in technologies that lower costs, improve transparency and create local community development opportunities in rural areas.”
FBN is an advocate for family farmers and ranchers and is committed to the premise that true price transparency levels the playing field for farmers – regardless of geography or size – and also enhances competition at the manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing level. By providing timely and transparent pricing on crop protection products, biologicals, seeds, technology and services, as well as ecommerce purchasing and financing options, FBN arms farmers with the tools they need to make the best decisions for their business, their families and the planet.
Also, FBN’s Farmers First® promise has attracted over 12,000 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.