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John Deere Buys Autonomous Farming Tech Firm Bear Flag For $250M

Deere & Company has announced that it will be moving to acquire Bear Flag Robotics, according to a press release.

The deal will go forward for $250 million. Bear Flag Robotics was founded in 2017 and works to develop autonomous technology for driving services, which are compatible with existing machines.

With the deal, Deere signifies that it wants to keep developing automation on the farm. The company’s long term strategy is to make smarter machines, the press release says.

But the partnership with Bear Flag isn’t necessarily new, as the company has been doing that since 2019 as part of the company’s initiative to boost work with startup companies.

“Deere views autonomy as an important step forward in enabling farmers to leverage their resources strategically to feed the world and create more sustainable and profitable operations,” said Jahmy Hindman, chief technology officer at John Deere. “Bear Flag’s team of talented agriculture professionals, engineers and technologists have a proven ability to deliver advanced technology solutions to market. Joining that expertise and experience with Deere’s expertise in autonomy, along with our world-class dealer channel, will accelerate the delivery of solutions to farmers that address the immense challenge of feeding a growing world.”

Igino Cafiero, co-founder and CEO of Bear Flag Robotics, said one of the prime challenges for farmers was that there was often not enough availability of skilled labor to get important tasks done.

“Autonomy offers a safe and productive alternative to address that challenge head on,” he said. “Bear Flag’s mission to increase global food production and reduce the cost of growing food through machine automation is aligned with Deere’s, and we’re excited to join the Deere team to bring autonomy to more farms.”

PYMNTS recently wrote about the interest Bill Gates seems to have taken in agriculture, with the announcement of “a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Bill & Melinda Gates Agricultural Innovations, LLC.” While no one has any concrete information, some think they are angling to start “connected” smart cities and farms.

For more on this, see: Bill Gates’ Land Grab Fuels Speculation About Smart Cities, AgTech Plans

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