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Patent
Granular | Date: 2015-02-04

An insecticidal granular composition for broadcasting of the granular composition onto a body of water on which insects are to be controlled comprising: a granular carrier of size in range of from 1 to 4 mm; a composition absorbed into the granular carrier comprising a bacterially derived larvicidal active agent and a non-aqueous liquid having a density less than 1; wherein the insecticidal granular composition has an average individual granule density greater than 1 and is adapted to sink in the body of water.


News Article | April 22, 2015
Site: agfundernews.com

Granular announced its acquisition of AcreValue, a farmland valuation platform, for an undisclosed amount. San Francisco-based Granular offers a farm management and analytics platform that aims to help farmers increase efficiency, yield and profit. “Granular’s mission is to help the agriculture industry use data to make more accurate business decisions,” said Sid Gorham, Co-founder and CEO of Granular.  “It’s critical for expansion-oriented producers to find the right land at the right price and, over time, AcreValue will improve the efficiency of the farmland market.” AcreValue’s goal is to bring data and transparency to farmland rental and resale markets. It aggregates public data sources and applies computer models to provide customers with valuation estimates and downloadable reports for any field using soil, climate, geography, crop history, and other factors. AcreValue had been charging $15 per report and now intends to make the reports available for free. Short of paying for a full appraisal it can be difficult to assess the value of a parcel of farmland generally and to your operation specifically. The last decade has seen the farmland market in the U.S. change dramatically. And with more and more small farmers selling their land and operations to larger farm groups, a lot of land is expected to change hands. The information that facilitates these sales is not standardized in any digital format and there is widespread frustration from the all sides of the farmland rental and resale markets. Zillow and Auction.com are good examples of the direction AcreValue could go. Those companies, which provide transparency in consumer and commercial real estate, grew out of similar data based services, which ultimately turned into listings on those companies’ sites. Chris Seifert founded AcreValue in 2013. A former data scientist at the Climate Corporation, Seifert got the idea for the company after his family had an argument about whether to sell the family’s farm in Iowa. Since a simple, reliable and trustworthy model to quantify the value of their farm did not exist, Seifert tried to create one. He then gathered two of his friends that he had met in his Stanford dormitory and began working on AcreValue. “Emotions around farmland and heritage are really powerful things. I was helping to bring some data and add transparency to our decision making process,” Seifert said. Seifert says AcreValue’s models have been tested with growers and are based on publicly available data. The company runs two major sets of models, local and macro, to quantify the farmland value. The local model determines value based on local sets of data such as soil analysis and historical yield for the specific plot of land. The macro model incorporates broader market metrics such as interest rates and commodity prices. With Granular’s help, AcreValue plans to build out its capability and get into more regions faster. It’s currently only available in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. In addition, Granular just announced that Bruce Sherrick, a professor in agriculture and applied finance, will join its advisory board, and focus on helping AcreValue’s data science team extend its product. For Granular’s existing customers, the acquisition of AcreValue appears to be a good thing. Granular has focused on large scale farms in the U.S., and many of these customers could be buying or renting more land in the upcoming years as land is anticipated to be changing hands. Therefore, having a tool to more easily evaluate the land could help these customers with their decisions. Gorham sees farmland real estate as another example of the broader professionalization and consolidation of the agriculture industry. Just as the grain markets trade globally, it is likely that the farmland market will transition from local to national and global. In fact, farmland could be even easier to sell globally than other real estate because it’s less subjective. With the right tools in place for Ag land sales, a buyer could have a full, trustworthy, and backed up picture of the property they intend to buy, without ever seeing it in the first place. This is an interesting development for the AgTech industry. Aside from Monsanto, it looks like Silicon Valley backed startups are looking to take the lead on acquisitions, similar to Silicon Valley fueled startups in other industries.


SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Granular, a leading agriculture software and analytics company, today announced that it has acquired AcreValue, a farmland real estate evaluation business. The acquisition of AcreValue enhances Granular’s service offerings to the farmland market, and gives farmers and potential investors valuable information into land values across the country. The free service allows buyers, sellers, agents and other interested parties to browse AcreValue estimates using a map-based interface. Users will also be able to download reports on each field that includes valuable data on soil type, topography, crop history, basis trends and other important features, as well as produce estimates of the value of individual fields. These estimates have proven accurate to the level where they provide useful guidance to farmland buyers and sellers. “Acquiring or leasing more acres at the right price is a top priority for members of Granular’s professional farm network,” said Sid Gorham, Granular’s CEO. “We believe that AcreValue will make the farmland resale and rental markets more convenient, transparent and efficient. This is an exciting new service the market has been waiting for, and we will continue to invest in its expansion so it can benefit Granular subscribers and the agriculture industry more broadly.” “The idea for AcreValue came out of my own family’s discussions about valuing our farmland in Iowa,” said Christopher Seifert, AcreValue’s CEO. “Granular’s vision of adding technology innovation to the farmland and agricultural market makes it a perfect acquiring partner for AcreValue. I’m excited to build out the service as part of the Granular team and to work with its base of industry-leading farmers. We hope AcreValue helps the farmland market like Zillow has the residential real estate market.” As part of this acquisition, AcreValue’s cofounder and CEO, Christopher Seifert, has joined Granular and will head the agronomy data science team. While AcreValue currently covers fields in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana, Granular has aggressive goals to extend to the rest of the Corn Belt and the Delta region by the end of the year. Additionally, the company will continue to improve the accuracy of the AcreValue models and add other features of interest to buyers and sellers. The company will also develop power-user capabilities that will only be available to customers using Granular’s farm management software. To learn more about Granular’s and AcreValue visit www.granular.ag. Granular is an agriculture software and analytics company dedicated to helping industry leaders build stronger and smarter farms. With cloud, mobile and advanced data science technology, the Granular platform makes it easier to manage a large farm and use data for critical business decisions. Granular’s rapidly growing network of farms in the U.S. and Canada is finding new ways to profit from aggregated data, expertise and market power. Granular is headquartered in San Francisco and backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures and Khosla Ventures. www.granular.ag AcreValue was founded in 2013 by Christopher Seifert, Randy Folse and Marc Masbou to develop automated farmland valuation models that improve the efficiency and transparency of the farmland real estate markets. Seifert is a Ph.D. candidate in Stanford University’s Earth Sciences department and previously held data science roles with The Climate Corporation and Google.


SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Granular, a leading agriculture software and analytics company, announced today another major extension to the capabilities of its industry-leading farm management and analytics platform. The company has a team of more than 50 software developers and designers working to continually improve and extend the functionality of the platform based on direct feedback from several dozen of its large, professional producer customers. Granular’s latest release includes the capability to import and analyze as-applied files (starting with John Deere and Precision Planting equipment) and to monitor Profit and Loss (P&L) statements at the field level. “I have never seen a company in the agriculture industry that can develop great software as fast as Granular,” said Mark Bryant, partner of Bryant Agricultural Enterprises in Ohio and a Granular customer. “The team really knows how to listen carefully to its producer customers and build a product that supports the complex workflow on a large farm.” Granular’s latest round of enhancements focuses on the analysis of as-applied files and field-level profitability. The ability to ingest, process and analyze as-applied files off farm equipment allows Granular to build a complete electronic production record on each field with full detail on all inputs, labor and machine costs for each completed task. As-applied file analysis also allows Granular to understand sub-field level variation in costs, yields and efficiencies. “The reason I run Granular on my farm is so that I can understand and improve profitability at the enterprise, crop and field levels,” said Matt Smith, partner of Smith Farms in Arkansas and a Granular customer. “Particularly in this challenging commodity price environment, I want to manage every dollar and, just last week, Granular helped me find a five-figure billing error from one of my suppliers.” “Granular serves professional, expansion-oriented producers,” said Sid Gorham, Granular’s co-founder and CEO. “These producers view this downturn as an opportunity to expand to farm more acres and Granular is helping them build their businesses on a solid foundation.” For more information about Granular and its products visit www.granular.ag. Granular is an agriculture software and analytics company dedicated to helping industry leaders build stronger and smarter farms. With cloud, mobile and advanced data science technology, the Granular platform makes it easier to manage a large farm and use data for critical business decisions. Granular’s rapidly growing network of farms in the U.S. and Canada is finding new ways to profit from aggregated data, expertise and market power. Granular is headquartered in San Francisco and backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures and Khosla Ventures. Follow Granular on Twitter at @GranularAG.


News Article | July 22, 2015
Site: techcrunch.com

Granular, a farm management software and analytics provider, has raised $18.7 million in new funding to streamline operations on large, professionally managed farms. Tao Capital Partners, the late stage fund that counts Tesla, Uber and SolarCity among its portfolio companies, led the Series B round. Existing backers Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures and Khosla Ventures participated, with help from Emory Investment Management, Fall Line Capital, and H. Barton Asset Management. Granular provides software to manage all aspects of running a farm, from the daily tasks out in the field to the budgeting and financial work in the office. It integrates with a farmer’s existing hardware, including tractors, drones and scales, to collect data from the field. Everyone on the farm uses Granular’s mobile app to access a real-time work schedule and task list. Workers can see exactly where everyone is on a map, and exactly when each task is completed. “A 10,000 acre farm might be spread out over 100 square miles of fields that are not right next to each other, so you have to figure out the right order to do everything in and how to optimize that,” says Granular founder Sid Gorham. “Right now everyone’s doing that with two-way radio and paper and pencil.” In the office, Granular’s analytics dashboard helps farmers understand how each individual field is performing to make strategic decisions around planting and harvest. “Right now farms understand profitability at the total level, but with Granular, they can understand the profitability of each field and each crop,” says Gorham. Since Granular launched its product in March of last year, the company has signed up several dozen large U.S. farms spanning nearly 1 million acres of land. Existing Granular customers include farms producing corn for Maker’s Mark and ingredients for Chipotle. “By this time next year, we want to have the Farming 500 — the biggest and best farms in the country — on our system,” says Gorham. “We really want to serve the leaders in the market.”


News Article | February 21, 2014
Site: gigaom.com

Imagine managing a sprawling 50-square-mile farm, 30 roaming employees and a hectic and fluctuating growing season using Excel, Quickbooks and two-way radios. That’s how many of the top 30,000 to 40,000 farms in the U.S. — accounting for a third of the country’s farm land — still operate. But San Francisco-based startup Granular, which emerged on Thursday, has started trialling new software for farmers that offers the modern smartphone apps, cloud-based services and collaboration tools that many other industries have come to rely on as the backbone of their operations. Granular launched out of the split of another startup, Solum, which was founded in 2009 with early backing from Khosla Ventures and had built up a business around onsite soil analysis. Farms have been using Solum’s data tech to test soil onsite and tightly manage and customize their fertilizer use. But as a young startup in the Bay Area, the company had a tough time convincing farmers in the middle of the U.S. to use an entirely new type of data science tool, and last year the company started looking for a partner to ramp that up. That partner turned out to be ag giant Monsanto. On Thursday Monsanto announced that it plans to acquire the soil data business, which made up about half the company, from Solum. Monsanto will be folding the soil data business into the data team it acquired from Climate Corp last year and will be able to get the soil data tech the reach it needs. The other half of the company, which has been developing the farming software tools over the last year, is being renamed Granula. To kick off the new company, Granular raised a Series A round of $4.2 million from Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures and Google Ventures. Khosla Ventures and Google Ventures were also backers of Climate Corp. Granular is now testing its software with seven Midwestern farmers who also helped the company design the software. The farmers will be trialling it for the Spring growing season. If all goes well, Granular will then launch the software commercially, Granular CEO Sid Gorham told me. (Gorham was previously a founding member of restaurant software company OpenTable.) The farming business in the U.S. is changing as smaller farmers sell land and businesses to a smaller group of large farms. This group of 30,000 to 40,000 family-owned large farm businesses is also facing fluctuating growing seasons due to the changing climate and extreme weather, and is looking to make its farming processes as high-tech and efficient as possible. Gorham tells me that he’s excited to help farmers produce food with the lowest environmental footprint possible, using mobile apps, the cloud and real-time collaboration to make farming more efficient. As the world’s population grows to 9 billion by 2050, farmers will have to produce more food using fewwer resources, and IT is just one way they’re going to do it.


News Article | July 22, 2015
Site: www.businesswire.com

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Granular, a company that provides farm management software and analytics tools, announced the close of its Series B financing today. Tao Capital Partners led the round and was joined by Emory Investment Management, Fall Line Capital, and H. Barton Asset Management. Granular’s previous investors, Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, and Khosla Ventures, also invested in this second round. “We are excited to work with this top group of new and returning investors to become the leading provider of software and analytics to the global agricultural industry,” said Sid Gorham, Granular’s co-founder and CEO. “We are well on our way toward the first step of getting the best 500 producers in North America on the Granular platform and this funding will accelerate our progress.” Introduced 18 months ago, Granular is expanding its team of software and data science experts in San Francisco, along with a group of farming industry experts deployed near its customers nationwide. The funding will go primarily toward expanding this team to provide more localized support, in addition to extending the product into the specialty crop and livestock segments. The round of funding brings the total capital raised by the company to $25.2M. “Farming is one of the world’s largest and most important industries, but has been underserved by information technology companies,” said Christopher Olin, Principal at Tao Capital Partners. “We are thrilled to back the Granular team as they use data science to help farms become more efficient businesses and respond to the challenges and opportunities of the future.” Granular provides farmers with a new kind of farm management software, which brings together financial, operational and agronomic information in real-time to give growers an accurate view of their operation throughout the entire growing season. “The Granular team has made tremendous progress since their first financing 18 months ago,” said John O’Farrell, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. “We see an opportunity to build a very large and valuable software company in this vertical and Granular has great traction with the industry’s largest, most sophisticated buyers.” Granular announced the financing at GROW 2015, the company’s first farm CEO summit in San Francisco. The user conference was attended by farmers representing some of the largest operations in North America, as well as Granular’s Industry Advisory Board and farmland investment funds. “We’d never been able before to get everything we do – from operations to budget to inventory tracking – all on one software package,” said Mark Bryant of Bryant Ag, Granular customer in Ohio. “Granular recognizes what ag is becoming, and they give me the tools I need to operate like a Fortune 500 company.” For more information on Granular, visit granular.ag. Granular is an agriculture software and analytics company dedicated to helping industry leaders build stronger and smarter farms. With cloud, mobile and advanced data science technology, the Granular platform makes it easier to manage a large farm and use data for critical business decisions. Granular’s rapidly growing network of farms in the U.S. and Canada is finding new ways to profit from aggregated data, expertise and market power. Granular is headquartered in San Francisco. Tao Capital Partners invests in technology, alternative energy, healthcare, sustainable food & agriculture, consumer, and real estate businesses that have a positive impact. Tao is an active investor with the ability to support companies through various stages of their life-cycle. Andreessen Horowitz backs bold entrepreneurs who move fast, think big and are committed to building the next major franchises in technology. Founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, we provide entrepreneurs with access to our deep expertise and insights in innovation, business development, market intelligence, executive and technical talent, and marketing and brand building. Find us in Menlo Park, California, and at www.a16z.com.


News Article | July 22, 2015
Site: www.businesswire.com

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Granular, a company that provides farm management software and analytics tools, announced the close of its Series B financing today. Tao Capital Partners led the round and was joined by Emory Investment Management, Fall Line Capital, and H. Barton Asset Management. Granular’s previous investors, Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, and Khosla Ventures, also invested in this second round. “We are excited to work with this top group of new and returning investors to become the leading provider of software and analytics to the global agricultural industry,” said Sid Gorham, Granular’s co-founder and CEO. “We are well on our way toward the first step of getting the best 500 producers in North America on the Granular platform and this funding will accelerate our progress.” Introduced 18 months ago, Granular is expanding its team of software and data science experts in San Francisco, along with a group of farming industry experts deployed near its customers nationwide. The funding will go primarily toward expanding this team to provide more localized support, in addition to extending the product into the specialty crop and livestock segments. The round of funding brings the total capital raised by the company to $25.2M. “Farming is one of the world’s largest and most important industries, but has been underserved by information technology companies,” said Christopher Olin, Principal at Tao Capital Partners. “We are thrilled to back the Granular team as they use data science to help farms become more efficient businesses and respond to the challenges and opportunities of the future.” Granular provides farmers with a new kind of farm management software, which brings together financial, operational and agronomic information in real-time to give growers an accurate view of their operation throughout the entire growing season. “The Granular team has made tremendous progress since their first financing 18 months ago,” said John O’Farrell, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. “We see an opportunity to build a very large and valuable software company in this vertical and Granular has great traction with the industry’s largest, most sophisticated buyers.” Granular announced the financing at GROW 2015, the company’s first farm CEO summit in San Francisco. The user conference was attended by farmers representing some of the largest operations in North America, as well as Granular’s Industry Advisory Board and farmland investment funds. “We’d never been able before to get everything we do – from operations to budget to inventory tracking – all on one software package,” said Mark Bryant of Bryant Ag, Granular customer in Ohio. “Granular recognizes what ag is becoming, and they give me the tools I need to operate like a Fortune 500 company.” For more information on Granular, visit granular.ag. Granular is an agriculture software and analytics company dedicated to helping industry leaders build stronger and smarter farms. With cloud, mobile and advanced data science technology, the Granular platform makes it easier to manage a large farm and use data for critical business decisions. Granular’s rapidly growing network of farms in the U.S. and Canada is finding new ways to profit from aggregated data, expertise and market power. Granular is headquartered in San Francisco. Tao Capital Partners invests in technology, alternative energy, healthcare, sustainable food & agriculture, consumer, and real estate businesses that have a positive impact. Tao is an active investor with the ability to support companies through various stages of their life-cycle. Andreessen Horowitz backs bold entrepreneurs who move fast, think big and are committed to building the next major franchises in technology. Founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, we provide entrepreneurs with access to our deep expertise and insights in innovation, business development, market intelligence, executive and technical talent, and marketing and brand building. Find us in Menlo Park, California, and at www.a16z.com.


News Article | April 22, 2015
Site: www.businesswire.com

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Granular, a leading agriculture software and analytics company, today announced the appointment of Dr. Bruce Sherrick, an award-winning agricultural expert, to its advisory board. Sherrick joins as the seventh member of Granular’s advisory board, rounding out an impressive group of industry leading producers, consultants and academics. As part of his role, Sherrick will advise Granular on the development of business decision support tools for its network of professional farms. Sherrick will also help support Granular’s data science team in the continued development of AcreValue, a free service providing background information and automated valuation estimates (AVM) for farmland recently acquired by the company earlier this month. “We are thrilled to add Bruce to our advisory board,” said Sid Gorham, Granular’s co-founder and CEO. “He brings technical expertise, strategic perspective and industry relationships that will help strengthen Granular’s position as experts in farm business management.” Sherrick is currently the Marjorie and Jerry Fruin Professor of Farmland Economics, and director of the TIAA-CREF Center for Farmland Research in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois. He was recently nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve on the Board of the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Association. “I’ve been impressed with Granular’s vision for using software and analytics to help leading producers and land investors make better business decisions,” said Sherrick. “I look forward to working with the Granular team to extend their product and work effectively with other academic experts in the field.” Sherrick teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in applied finance, and financial modeling. He has won numerous teaching awards, including the Hughes Teaching Enhancement Award at the University of Illinois, and the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Paul A. Funk Excellence Award. Sherrick’s research is focused in the areas of risk analysis, crop insurance evaluation, farmland markets and modeling of financial institutions. He is also one of the faculty members who has created and maintained programs on the farmdoc website, the multiple award-winning agricultural decision-making support program at the University of Illinois (http://www.farmdoc.illinois.edu). Sherrick earned his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in finance and marketing, and is also the managing partner of integrated Financial Analytics & Research (iFAR), a consulting firm in Champaign, Illinois, that specializes in crop insurance evaluation models, credit risk assessment and modeling of agricultural finance institutions. He is also an author/co-author of the FAST (Financial Analysis and Solution Tools) suite of decision tools that support agricultural producers and lenders. To learn more about Granular and its products, visit www.granular.ag. Granular is an agriculture software and analytics company dedicated to helping industry leaders build stronger and smarter farms. With cloud, mobile and advanced data science technology, the Granular platform makes it easier to manage a large farm and use data for critical business decisions. Granular’s rapidly growing network of farms in the U.S. and Canada is finding new ways to profit from aggregated data, expertise and market power. Granular is headquartered in San Francisco and backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures and Khosla Ventures. www.granular.ag


News Article | September 3, 2015
Site: www.inc.com

Editor's note: This article is part of Inc.'s 2015 Best Industries report. Jesse Vollmar is not your typical tech entrepreneur. The 26-year-old Michigan native grew up working in the fields of his family's fifth-generation farm, growing traditional row crops such as corn and wheat. In high school, Vollmar taught himself how to build custom software for the Web, a hobby he later turned into a business by forming an IT consulting company. After graduating from college in 2011, Vollmar discovered a problem plaguing virtually every farmer he knew. "All these farmers around us were talking about how the software they used was no good," he says. "It just became really obvious that there was this widening gap between what tech was capable of doing and what farms were taking advantage of." In 2012, Vollmar wound down his consulting business and launched Ann Arbor, Michigan-based FarmLogs, a data science company that builds farm management software. The company's mission is simple: help farmers make their fields more profitable. Because it's current industry standard for farm machinery to come with built-in sensors that track everything from precipitation to soil composition, FarmLogs does not have to make hardware. Instead, the company builds software that aggregates crop-field data and analyzes it. "We can do a lot of at-the-field analysis through remote sensing without having to deploy physical sensors," Vollmar says. While farmers traditionally plant the same amount of seeds and put the same amount of water and fertilizer on entire plots of land, there is enormous variability within crop fields. "There are a ton of different types of soil inside that field that can make nutrients available in different ways to the plant," Vollmar says. "What we can do is measure that, understand that variability, and then help people divert resources into the right areas to maximize the profitability." The official name of what FarmLogs is helping farmers do is "precision agriculture." Increasingly, farmers are turning to software to help increase their profitability. Precision agriculture revenue has risen an estimated 5.3 percent per year during the past five years, to $1.5 billion in 2014. And that growth is expected to continue at 6.6 percent a year for the next four years, according to research firm IBISWorld. The venture capital community has also helped put a shine on agriculture, as Silicon Valley only recently identified the opportunity to bring significant innovation to the industry. Here's a look at what it takes to launch in agriculture and how FarmLogs firmly established itself as a frontrunner. FarmLogs received early backing from tech accelerator Y Combinator, but shortly after arriving in Mountain View, California, Vollmar came face to face with venture capitalists' lack of enthusiasm for agricultural technology. "Investors in Silicon Valley didn't want anything to do with AgTech at the time," Vollmar says. "In 2012, we were the ugly duckling." During the past two years, however, VC firms have woken up to the fact that the agricultural industry is a giant market ripe for a technological revolution. In the U.S., farmers grow more than $135 billion worth of row crops every year. "Agriculture is large enough and inefficient enough that there is opportunity for people to come in and improve it," says Todd Dagres, founder of San Francisco-based venture capital firm Spark Capital. "People have seen that for a while, but I don't think investors necessarily appreciated it." In January 2014, roughly 5 percent of the row-crop farms in the U.S. were using FarmLogs' software. That month, the company raised $4 million of Series A funding from firms including Drive Capital, Huron River Ventures, and Hyde Park Venture Partners. Six months later, FarmLogs' market share had grown to 15 percent of U.S. row-crop farms. In January 2015, the company raised an additional $10 million in VC funding, bringing on new investors including SV Angel and Sam Altman, president of Y Combinator. Today, more than 50,000 U.S. farms across all 50 states use FarmLogs' software, according to the company. While FarmLogs reports that it has $12 billion in "crops under management," the company has yet to generate revenue, as its proprietary software is still free. This spring, however, the company will to switch to a freemium model, offering a new set of paid services built on top of the data it has analyzed during the past three years. "We're going to be able to do some real-time assessment and monitoring of crop health, and we'll charge a per-acre fee for that," Vollmar says. Making the leap to a freemium model is never a sure thing, but Vollmar is convinced of FarmLogs' ability to convert farmers to paying customers. "We have an easy to use, high-quality, grower-aligned offering," he says. "That gives us the confidence we need to operate, knowing we will be able to build strong partnerships with farmers that allow both sides to be profitable." Despite FarmLogs' growing position in its market, the business has a major competitor: Climate Corp., the weather data-mining company acquired by agricultural biotech giant Monsanto for $930 million in 2013. And given investors' increasing interest in this sector, it's only a matter of time before still more competitors emerge. As Lance Donny, chief executive of farm data company OnFarm Systems, told Inc. last June, "Monsanto's acquisition [of Climate Corp.] opened investors' eyes about the value of data in agriculture. AgTech is like the next Facebook. It's the a-ha moment when you realize that data in agriculture is worth so much." Three months after being purchased by Monsanto, Climate Corp. made an acquisition of its own, buying agricultural hardware and software company Solum. The transaction produced a new startup in the AgTech space when Solum's software division spun off from the company and rebranded as Granular Inc. Despite the rise of agricultural tech startups, Vollmar views Climate Corp. as FarmLogs' only competitor, and says he's not concerned about other companies piling into the industry. Climate Corp.'s product combines free software that analyzes weather data and paid insurance plans to help farms manage risk. Rajiv Khosla, professor of precision agriculture at Colorado State University, agrees that FarmLogs has a strong position in the largely unpenetrated AgTech sector. "FarmLogs is the classic example of a company that's translating data that already exists in the public domain to help farmers make better decisions," he says. "Do we need more outfits to enable that? Yes, because the agricultural space is huge." Vollmar says that FarmLogs benefits from the growth of companies in related sectors, such as startups using the latest technology to monitor the health of farms. "There are a bunch of businesses being created that are launching new satellites that image the earth every single day, and you can gain a lot of intelligence about the performance of fields and crops and help optimize crop production." So what is Vollmar's outlook for FarmLogs' growth in 2015 and beyond? "We have an opportunity to build what becomes the operating system for the farm of the future."

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