PORTFOLIO EXIT: John Deere acquires Bear Flag Robotics for $250M

A shining future for the autonomous tractor startup.

Image Credit: JOHN DEERE

John Deere has acquired for $250M Bear Flag Robotics, an agriculture technology startup based in Silicon Valley, part of our Lombardstreet Ventures portfolio.

By equipping and implements farm tractors with autonomous driving technology, Bear Flag Robotics allows growers to automate and optimize many of their most common tasks. Bear Flag’s technology enables a tractor to work in a field autonomously, and it is perfect to complement Deere’s own technology initiatives and goals to help farmers achieve the best possible outcomes and solve meaningful challenges through advanced technology, including autonomy.

Deere has always had a strong legacy of applying advanced technologies to solve our customers’ biggest challenges. Today, we added another exciting capability to our tech stack with our acquisition of Bear Flag Robotics. Based in Silicon Valley, Bear Flag Robotics develops autonomous solutions compatible with existing machines — which means greater tech adoption, increased productivity and improved profitability on the farm and the job site. Their capability complements our own initiatives to help customers achieve the best possible outcomes through advanced technology. Together, we’ll have a meaningful opportunity to improve our customers’ lives and transform their operations through automation and autonomy. — John C. May, Chairman and CEO at John Deere

What I loved about founders Igino Cafiero and Aubrey Donnellan is that they have always followed their vision and clearly pursued their strategy, even during the hardest moment. And thanks to the incredible team they have built, they were able to bring innovation to an under-innovated sector and become one of the most promising solutions to solve the pressing challenges in agriculture at scale.

A tractor modified by Bear Flag Robotics tills fields autonomously. Image Credit: JOHN DEERE

The acquisition of Bear Flag Robotics brings us a terrific ~680% IRR and a ~10x return, and a close to our investment in the company, but not with Igino and Aubrey, that we look forward to work with in the future on their next adventure.

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Luigi Bajetti

Luigi Bajetti

General Partner & Founder at Lombardstreet Ventures, a VC Firm based in Menlo Park. Forging the Everdragons2 NFT.