VC fund leads $40m agtech investment

OpenAir Equity Partners led a Series B round attracting repeat investors and one new investor into FarmLink, an agtech company developing a yield benchmarking service for farmers.

OpenAir Equity Partners, a venture capital fund fully funded by the firm’s partners, has increased its exposure to FarmLink, an agtech firm, after leading a $40 million Series B round of financing. The fund has held a stake in FarmLink since 2000.

With the capital raised, FarmLink will continue to develop TrueHarvest, a yield benchmarking service that identifies the potential productivity of land and measures farming success.

The company’s existing investors  Thorndale Farm, an Illinois-based private investment firm with a focus on communications, private investors Don Walsworth, a publishing mogul and John Rose – all re-invested, while one new investor, Early Investments, joined the consortium.

This is the second round of fundraising for FarmLink. It raised $38 million in 2008, although OpenAir has been a stakeholder since 2000, according to Ron LeMay, managing director at OpenAir and chairman and chief executive at FarmLink since 2010.

“I stepped in as CEO a few years ago as Farmlink transitioned from solely a combine leasing company to a technology company,” he told Agri Investor in an email.

LeMay would not disclose the size of OpenAir’s fund or any other details except that it was managing over $100 million in assets.

FarmLink is not OpenAir’s only agriculture-related business; it holds a stake in AgLocal, a US pasture-raised meat retailer, although the firm’s primary focus is on technology, mobile and communications, according to the website. The partners have 22 years of investing experience between them.