FarmLead, a Canadian-based and now global online grain marketplace, has announced a six-point-five million dollar (US) Series A raise led by Monsanto Growth Ventures (MGV), the venture capital arm of Monsanto, with additional investments from Avrio Ventures, the MaRS Innovation Accelerator Fund and Serra Ventures.
The close supports FarmLead’s expansion into the U.S. market and the opening of its U.S. headquarters at Chicago, a key access point to prominent U.S. grain production regions. As part of the move, Kiersten Stead, of MGV, and Aki Georgacacos, of Avrio Ventures, will join FarmLead’s board of directors.
Since its inception in 2013, the FarmLead Marketplace has grown to serve more than 4,000 farms across North America. Once limited by highly localized, relationship-dependent practices, farmers now have access to a wealth of buyers online to garner the best pricing possible for their grain.
As a result of this investment, key additions to FarmLead’s product line include an innovative forward contracting service that will allow growers to sell to interested buyers based on forecasted grain yields – enabling better financial management of farm operations.
“Despite the recent levels of technology innovation in agriculture, very few companies are aimed at the critical commerce piece of the equation that helps farmers realize profits from day one,” says Kiersten Stead, Investment Director at MGV. “FarmLead built a platform that can do just that and is a key part of a diversified approach to marketing and trading grain.”
“This investment signals the appetite for a solution that accelerates the rates of commercial grain marketing transactions,” says FarmLead CEO and co-founder, Brennan Turner. “Our ability to increase deal flow for farmers, enabling them to negotiate better prices and other key trade terms online, allows farms to take ownership of their grain production and marketing lifecycle. This is the future of grain trading and we are truly poised to transform the way agricultural commodities are traded worldwide.”
Brennan Turner’s weekly markets column can be found every Friday on RealAgriculture.com