August 5, 2021

BearFlag Deere 400x275Deere & Company has announced it will acquire startup Bear Flag Robotics for $250 million. Deere said the deal will accelerate the development and delivery of automation and autonomy on the farm, supporting its long-term strategy to create smarter machines with advanced technology to support individual customer needs.

Founded in 2017, Bear Flag Robotics develops autonomous driving technology that is compatible with existing machines. Earlier this year, Bear Flag raised $7.9 million in a seed extension funding round.

"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 Deer. “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.”

Deere said it first started working with Bear Flag in 2019 as part of the company’s Startup Collaborator program, an initiative focused on enhancing work with startups whose technology could add value for Deere customers. Since then, Bear Flag has deployed its autonomous solution on a limited number of farms in the U.S.

“One of the biggest challenges farmers face today is the availability of skilled labor to execute time-sensitive operations that impact farming outcomes,” said Igino Cafiero, co-founder and CEO of Bear Flag Robotics. “Autonomy offers a safe and productive alternative to address that challenge head on. 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.”

Bear Flag Robotics provides technology, services, and support to enable autonomous tractor operations, helping growers produce more food with fewer resources. While tractors run autonomously, human supervisors use Bear Flag’s software to monitor and command a fleet from a mission control room or personal device. The software plans optimal field patterns based on growers’ implements and provides predictive and post-run analytics that allow growers to farm better each season.

For more details on Bear Flag Robotics, visit its website here.