Osmington ups Farmers Edge investment

The agtech specialist is the first technology investment by the Canadian real estate company, which first invested in Farmers Edge in August 2015.

Commercial real estate firm Osmington has exercised an option to boost its investment in precision agtech company Farmers Edge by $3.2 million ($2.5 million; €2.2 million).

Farmers Edge, formed in 2005, sells hardware, software and analytics products aimed at increasing farm yields by allowing growers to collect and evaluate data on virtually all aspects of their farm, from soil health to equipment output and fuel use. The company announced a C$58 million ($44.56 million; €39.96 million) raise in January from a group of investors that includes Mitsui & Co and Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers’ Green Growth Fund.

Farmers Edge operates in the US, Brazil and Australia. The company is implementing a growth strategy that includes the March hire of ex-Monsanto executive Lucas Trindade to oversee the company’s expansion in Brazil as well as plans to build a physical presence in Russia, Farmers Edge chief executive told Agri Investor in January.

Osmington, which is owned and controlled by David Thomson, chairman of publishing company Thomson Reuters, first invested in Farmers Edge in 2015. The company focuses on commercial Canadian real estate, but also has farmland holdings.

“Farmers Edge is our first investment in a technology company and it’s a result of their great team matched with a proven, easy to use technology that will have a disruptive impact on the agricultural industry,” said Lawrence Zucker, chief executive of Osmington. “As our partnership grows, it’s clear that access to field-centric data will ultimately add value to the entire agricultural industry, including seed companies, fertiliser companies, and even commodity traders who would love to know what is happening in the fields before others.”