Canadian private real estate firm Osmington has invested in venture capital-backed Farmers Edge, which develops precision agriculture and data management tools for global agribusinesses.
Osmington, which is owned and controlled by David Thomson, chairman of publishing company Thomson Reuters, has previously invested in Canadian farmland but Farmers Edge is the first company the real estate firm has backed.
“Although our company has invested in farmland in Manitoba and Saskatchewan for the last few years, Farmers Edge is the first agricultural company that Osmington has invested in,” Lawrence Zucker, president and chief executive of Osmington said in a statement. “Farmers Edge is … well positioned with their technology to be disruptive and potentially change how modern farming will occur.”
Existing investors in Farmers Edge include Canadian venture firm Avrio Capital and US venture giant Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which backed the company last year from its $764m Green Growth Fund. Most recently Farmers Edge secured investment from the Japanese natural resources trading conglomerate Mitsui & Co.
Headquartered in Winnipeg, Farmers Edge provides global agribusinesses with precision tools and services such as remote satellite imagery and field-centric weather monitoring for growers to identify, map and manage farmland variability.
Farmers Edge has offices in the US, Australia and recently opened an office in Brazil. Earlier this year its founder and chief executive Wade Barnes told Agri Investor that the company was looking to open an office in Russia, where Farmers Edge has been doing business since 2008.
The investment from Osmington will support Farmers Edge’s growth into global markets, its aggressive path into big data analytics and building its data analytics team, said Barnes.