SAN CARLOS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Farmers Business Network (FBN), the independent and trusted farmer-to-farmer information network, today announced the company has closed $15 million in funding led by Google Ventures, with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and DBL Investors also participating in the round. Google Ventures General Partner Andy Wheeler will also join FBN’s Board of Directors.
Currently, farmers lack accurate, independent sources of information about real world performance of inputs and agronomic practices. Often, farmers must rely on the same companies who sell them seed, equipment, fertilizer and other products for advice on which products to use on their land. Through FBN, farmers can access independent, real world information on input, agronomic practice and yield performance from other farmers, enabling them to make the best decisions. FBN plans to use the new funding to grow its platform nationally and work with more farmers, giving them the tools they need to share their knowledge on a massive scale.
“Agriculture is the backbone of humanity. Farmers today are being asked to produce more with less arable land and water. Input costs are rising as crop prices drop,” said FBN Co-Founder Charles Baron. “Farmers have been advising each other for thousands of years. FBN gives them a platform to do so with real information on a massive scale, so they can make the most informed decisions. It’s about putting the farmers first. This funding will allow us to reach even more farmers in more crops, so they can make the best decisions for their land.”
The FBN team is comprised of world-class engineers and people with generations of family farm experience. FBN co-founders Amol Deshpande (CEO) and Baron (VP of Product) founded the company with other agriculture and technology veterans in 2014 to connect farmers with one another, creating the first independent, easy-to-use network that makes agricultural information actionable and accessible to farmers around the globe. Baron’s time working on his brother-in-law’s farm in Nebraska and at Google, combined with Deshpande’s experience as an agricultural entrepreneur and investor at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, influenced the unique blend of Midwestern farm ethos and world-class Silicon Valley technology at the company’s core.
“It is rare to find a team that bridges the gap between Silicon Valley tech smarts and expertise in agricultural markets," said Andy Wheeler, General Partner at Google Ventures. "Today, there are greater opportunities for farmers to scale their businesses than ever before, and we’re excited to work with the FBN team as they help build the next wave of productivity in agriculture."
FBN is devoted to building a trustworthy network of unbiased information from independent farms across the country. With FBN, farmers get advanced analytics – comprehensive yield benchmarking, real world seed performance and matching on over 490 varieties, practice analytics – all from anonymous information from real farmers. FBN can integrate over 35 different formats of farm data, clean and standardize it, then network thousands of fields together. In just six months, FBN has analyzed 7 million acres of data in the United States, and has been growing at 30% per month. Now, with this national launch, the company will connect more farmers on its network, leading the network to become more insightful than ever before.
“FBN is exactly what I was looking for,” said Steve Pitstick, a farmer in Maple Park, IL. “It gives me the ability to see information from top producers on so many more acres so I can learn quicker and make decisions with more confidence.”
This new round brings total funding to nearly $28 million. FBN previously raised $5.6 million in Series A funding, led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and $3.3 million in Series A-1 funding led by DBL Investors. FBN’s investors also include Kleiner Perkins Partner, Randy Komisar, who has deep roots in entrepreneurship and technology, and DBL Investors Founder and Managing Partner, Nancy Pfund, a leader in impact investing.
About Farmers Business Network
FBN is an independent and trusted farmer-to-farmer network. Built by and for farmers, FBN connects farmers to share knowledge, and enable powerful insights to help make the best decisions for farmers’ land and profits. FBN members receive comprehensive yield benchmarking, real world product performance analysis and agronomic analytics based on real world data from the FBN community. FBN is based in San Carlos, California with a Midwestern Headquarters in Davenport, Iowa and an office in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. FBN has field representatives working one-on-one with farmers across the U.S. and is committed to investing in high technology jobs in rural America. To learn more, visit: www.farmersbusinessnetwork.com