Farmers Business Network announced a $110 million Series D funding round, led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. and Temasek. Previous investors Acre Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, GV (formerly Google Ventures) and DBL Partners also participated in this round.
The latest investment will be used to expand the company’s offerings, including its digital crop marketing, FBN Direct, and farm analytics services, as well as expand internationally to Canada. With the backing of premier investors and nearly 5,000 member farms, the FBN Network is poised to help farmers in all regions and crops fundamentally revamp how they do business and maximize their earnings.
“Farmers Business Network fiercely advocates for farmers – democratizing information, providing market transparency, and leveling the playing field through networking,” said Charles Baron, Co-Founder and VP of Product. “We’re bringing growers the transformative power of a digital farm economy. By connecting farmers digitally, farmers are empowered through network-enabled agronomic insights, transparent online input purchasing, and a global crop marketing network to drive profitability even in the toughest markets.”
“The pressure this year is greater than ever to save money. Between the input savings and what I’m realizing on the crop marketing premiums, my FBN membership could be worth $90 per acre,” said Pat Duncanson, a farmer from Minnesota. “I’ve committed almost half my acres this year to the crop marketing program and I’m wondering if that’s not enough. It gives me transparency around the prices I’m paying, and has given the grower more power in the market to get premiums. With the seed intelligence I get through FBN Seed Finder, I am unequivocally able to find and buy seeds with confidence.”
This investment comes on the heels of rapid growth of the FBN Network in just two and half years since its commercial launch. The FBN Network now serves over 16 million acres of farmland (a land area larger than West Virginia) throughout 42 states and Canada.
“Having the buy-in and long-term support of world-class, independent investors is fundamental to our mission of serving family farms. This funding brings massive firepower to the FBN Network. We now have over 200 employees and soon will bring hundreds more high-tech jobs to rural America,” said Amol Deshpande, CEO and Co-Founder.
Creating an Independent Farm Economy to Put Farmers First
The idea for the FBN Network originated from farmers who wanted to create an independent, farmer-driven information and commerce network. In the past, important information such as fair market input prices, real-world seed performance, or optimal grain delivery points were hidden from farmers or difficult to determine. The FBN Network makes all this information transparent in a no frills way – driven by real-time statistics from its millions of acres of member farms.
With the price transparency and online purchasing through FBN Direct, farms have commonly saved tens of thousands on inputs, even as much as $120,000 in a single year. Yearly FBN membership costs only $600 with no punishing acreage fees, making it easily affordable for farms of all sizes.
This latest round brings the company’s total equity funding to nearly $200 million. The company’s investors have been inspired by the potential to create a better farm and food economy for farmers and consumers through digital technology.