Crop Pro Insurance today announced the close of an $8 million Series A round of financing co-led by top agriculture investors Finistere Ventures and Seed 2 Growth Ventures (S2G). Established insurance provider GuideOne Insurance also joined the round.
Headquartered in the heart of Midwest farmlands in Des Moines, Iowa, Crop Pro will use the investment to expand its team and speed the development of products and services that bridge the gap between agricultural and financial technologies.
Crop Pro today also announced that it is the first Ag venture-funded insurance provider to earn approval from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to offer Federal crop insurance products to farmers (full details here).
“This is a unique opportunity to bring new technology and business models to the $11B crop insurance market, and we see Crop Pro playing a significant role in connecting AgTech and FinTech,” said Sanjeev Krishnan, CIO and managing director, at S2G Ventures. “Crop insurance is a vital component in ensuring farm risk management, and we are pleased to be partnering with the leading innovator in the sector.”
Crop Pro will offer risk management solutions for emerging and traditional agriculture markets for the 2018 crop season. More than 290 million acres of U.S. farmland are protected through the Federal Crop Insurance Program according to the USDA; with RMA estimating 85 percent of major crops and 73 percent of specialty crops planted acreage are covered.
“Our vision is to help growers minimize risk by delivering proven insurance offerings and new risk management tools through our longstanding network of independent insurance agents. Our investors have the right networks to put us at the nexus of AgTech innovation in financial services,” added Crop Pro Chairman Billy Rose. “As agriculture continues to evolve, we want to empower farmers to use the current wave of advanced technologies to solve longstanding productivity challenges while helping them manage the financial risk.”
Rose and Co-Founder and President Joe Young are veterans of the crop insurance space. With extensive experience in both the agriculture industry as a whole and the Federal Crop Insurance Program specifically, the team will leverage its experience in insurance operations at The Climate Corporation, Crop 1 Insurance and John Deere Insurance Company to advance the future of agriculture and accelerate new technology adoption among growers by providing the needed support and income assurance.
“Crop Pro’s innovative strategy of helping farmers adopt new technologies coupled with new risk management insurance products promises to be a transformative approach. At a time when poor commodity prices and financial uncertainty are meaningful barriers to investment on-farm, Crop Pro’s compelling model has the potential to engage farmers and drive the growth of top AgTech players,” noted Arama Kukutai, managing director and co-founder at Finistere Ventures.
Krishnan and Kukutai will both join the Crop Pro Board and support the company’s continued growth as it explores emerging opportunities in Ag.
“Data analytics will transform crop insurance as surely as it will farming itself,” added Rose. “In the future, we also hope to give farmers a way to use their data more effectively to benchmark the efficacy of new technologies, from crop seed to digital agronomy.”