Combyne Ag (formerly FarmLead) acquired by Bayer

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Grain marketing app company Combyne Ag has been acquired by Bayer Crop Science, joining Bayer’s suite of digital tools for farmers.

Combyne, which was known as FarmLead until 2020, will continue to operate at arms-length to Bayer’s broader business, while benefiting from added resources and association with a partner with a shared vision, says CEO Alain Goubau, in an email sent to users on January 18.

The company has largely evolved from an online grain marketplace to focusing on providing tools for tracking grain marketing and inventory, including digitization of grain marketing documents.

Bayer says the investment in Combyne is part of an effort “to invest in farmer centric solutions that lead to the best outcomes while reducing complexity and improving seamless data exchange and interoperability.”

Goubau notes there are currently no formal plans or timelines to integrate Combyne into Bayer’s Climate FieldView platform.

“As we continue exploring, we actively welcome any ideas and suggestions on how Combyne and Climate FieldView (and other on farm software tools) might work together to improve farm operation management and decision-making as it relates to grain marketing,” writes Goubau.

Most of the company’s fully-remote workforce will remain in Ontario and Alberta, he says, with new hires expected across Canada and increasingly in the U.S.

Goubau says the company will be announcing some new offerings in the coming weeks, including a premium subscription service.

Financial terms of the acquisition by Bayer have not been disclosed.

FarmLead was founded in 2013 as an online grain marketplace, bringing together grain buyers and farmers. Monsanto Growth Ventures, which was integrated into Bayer’s venture capital business when Bayer acquired Monsanto, led a US$6.5 million Series A funding round for FarmLead in 2017.

(Disclosure: FarmLead/Combyne Ag founder and former CEO Brennan Turner used to write a weekly grain market column for RealAgriculture.)

(Updated Jan. 20 with additional info from both companies.)

Related: SWAT MAPS and Combyne Ag form partnership

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