Monsanto’s Climate Corporation has acquired agtech startup 640 Labs to strengthen the company’s efforts to build the industry’s leading data science platform for farmers. Details of the acquisition were not revealed, although Serra Capital revealed in a press release that they initially invested in 640 Labs in June 2014 with a second tranche in October, and had a internal rate of return (IRR) on the investment exceeded 500%.
“The 640 Labs team set a vision that we believed in for how the farming community can use data to get real results,” said Rob Schultz, Partner with Serra Capital. “Agriculture Technology is a theme that Serra will continue to invest in. Being in the heart of farming country, we have an advantage over most investors. We are very pleased with the strategic acquisition of the company by Monsanto.”
Dave Friedberg, CEO of Climate Corp added, “At The Climate Corporation, we strongly believe that leveraging on-farm data can help farmers maximize yields and optimize natural resource use. Turning that data into valuable tools for farmers requires a combination of top software engineers, statisticians and specialized disciplines, from agronomists to climatologists. The 640 Labs team brings a combination of engineering and agricultural expertise that will complement and enhance the capabilities of our existing team.”
640 Labs was founded by Corbett Kull and Craig Rupp in Chicago. The company built a plug-and-play wireless data tracking device to replace USB-stick collection methods which are normally used to collect field data. 640 Labs also provides analysis tools for the farmer to make sense of this data.
“We share The Climate Corporation’s vision of providing seamless data solutions for farmers,” said Kull. “We’re very happy to be joining an organization that is leading the development of unique data science solutions for farmers.”
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The Climate Corporation will maintain the Chicago office, where the 640 Labs team will remain. “We’re excited to have a new Chicago location and plan to expand our science and engineering organization, aggressively hiring talent in the region,” said Friedberg.
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