Ontario-Canada-based online grain marketplace FarmLead announced this week that it has raised a $6.5 million Series A round led by Monsanto Growth Ventures (MGV), with additional investments from Avrio Ventures, the MaRS Innovation Accelerator Fund and Serra Ventures.
The funding supports FarmLead’s expansion into the US market through the upcoming opening of its US headquarters in Chicago. The online platform, which according to the announcement serves more than 4,000 farms across North America, allows farmers to bid on, buy and sell grain. A new feature also allows growers to sell based on forecasted grain yields.
“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,” according to a company statement. “No other marketplace provides the same level of flexibility when it comes to negotiating physical cash for conventional, organic, or identity preserved grains.”
Kiersten Stead, investment director at MGV, the VC arm of Monsanto, is joining FarmLead’s board of directors along with Avrio Ventures’ Aki Georgacacos. Avrio invests in food and agri companies addressing global challenges tied to health, wellness and sustainability.
MaRS provides investors and licensees access to technology assets emerging from its member companies, while Serra Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm investing in tech companies.