ADM Buys Stake in Startup Farmers Business Network

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Deal Values ​​Agtech Startup $3.9 Billion; ADM says it will help in monitoring the carbon footprint of crops

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Fidelity Investments Inc. is the major investor in this round. Others include LK Advisors Ltd., Coal Capital Partners, Walleye Capital LLC and Tudor Investment Corp. Past investors including BlackRock Inc.,

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DBL Partners and Temasek Capital Management Pvt Ltd participated in the latest fundraising.

For ADM, the investment provides access to FBN’s cloud-based data software, which tracks spatial data from farm machinery and other data provided by farmers so that it can reduce carbon footprint, said FBN chief executive Amol Deshpande. Have “audible and reliable picture”. Crops planted by farmers.

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“This opens up an opportunity to represent our products in a different way,” said Greg Morris, ADM’s president of ag service and oilseeds business.

ADM says getting grassroots access to FBN’s software will improve the company’s ability to track the carbon footprint of crops grown by farmers who sell their grain to ADM. This combined with emissions data from ADM’s own processing will give the company’s customers a better idea of ​​the total environmental impact for their grains. This will help farmers and others in proportion to the carbon footprint of their production.

“Traditional business is optimized for cost and capital – businesses of the future need to optimize for cost, capital and carbon,” Morris said.

Across all industries, large companies interested in getting better data to track their carbon footprint are reaching out to tech firms to provide that data. In September, Delta Air Lines Inc.

and chevron Corporation

Alphabet. announced a partnership with Inc. NS

Google will build a data-and-analytics platform to examine emissions data from sustainable fuels being produced by Chevron and the fuel footprint being burned on Delta flights.

According to the company’s website, the Farmer Business Network has more than 30,000 farmers who use its platform to oversee more than 80 million acres. The partners hope that with ADM’s support more farmers will come to it, which in turn will provide ADM with more data that it can use to sell their crops.

FBN’s partnership with ADM comes as the startup’s direct-marketing business — which sells seeds, pesticides and fertilizers to farmers — is facing pushback from traditional agriculture retailers.

“We are viewed differently on the input side,” Mr. Deshpande said, explaining that the company’s relationship with customers is different than its direct-marketing efforts on data. “This is part of the evolution of a technology disruptor. “

FBN was founded in 2014, and is based in San Carlos, California, with a field office in Sioux Falls, SD. According to FactSet, the company has made 10 rounds of investment since its inception.

write to Kirk Maltais at [email protected]

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