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Agtech company FarmLink raises $24.6m

The agri data and analytics company's first funding round since 2014 includes new and existing investors.

US agtech company FarmLink has raised $24.6 million in growth funding from a group of new and existing investors.

Since 2014, when it released a yield benchmarking tool called TrueHarvest, FarmLink has targeted the growing agricultural data-collection and analysis-technology market.

At the end of last year, FarmLink launched a mapping tool that allows users to compare their own yields with benchmarks from the company’s data, called Discovery Platform. Data and analytics are increasingly being used on farms across the US with the aim of improving the efficiency with which chemicals and water are applied, testing plant health and improving crop yields.

Supporters say the technology could transform the way crops are grown around the world.

FarmLink, which has raised over $100 million in the last year and a half, declined to comment on the specifics of how it would allocate the financing, but told Agri Investor it would work to shore up its position in an increasingly competitive space.

“As a growing agtech start-up, we remain focused on maintaining a market leadership position,” said FarmLink chief executive Ron LeMay in an email.

In 2015, agricultural start-ups selling data analytics tools to farmers, including vertical farming company AeroFarms, irrigation management software company SWIIM Systems and image analysis company Descartes Labs raised between $3 and $20 million. Last September Monsanto announced plans to reposition itself as a data science and services company, helping to boost crop yields through analytics as well as its core chemicals and seeds business.

FarmLink’s investors include OpenAir Equity Partners, a private equity and venture capital firm specializing in early venture to later stage technology and telecommunications investments, which led a $40 million Series B round in August 2014. OpenAir, for whom Farmlink’s LeMay is also a managing partner, did not respond to inquiries from Agri Investor on whether the firm participated in the most recent funding round.

Family office Thorndale Farm and Early Investments, as well as business mogul Don Walsworth and John Rose, once the man at the helm of Rolls Royce, also joined in that 2014 round.