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John Deere acquires Bear Flag Robotics for $250 million

John Deere has announced it has signed an agreement to purchase Bear Flag Robotics for $250 million. Founded in 2017, Bear Flag Robotics develops autonomous driving technology that is compatible with existing machines. 

“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,” says 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.”  

The two companies have been working together since 2019, as part of Deere's Startup Collaborator program. This initiative enhances and deepens Deere’s interaction with start-up companies whose technology could add value for its customers. Since participating in the program, Bear Flag has been successful in deploying its autonomous solution on farms across 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. Autonomy offers a safe and productive alternative to address that challenge head on,” says Igino Cafiero, cofounder and CEO of Bear Flag Robotics. “Bear Flag’s mission to increase global food production and reduce the cost of growing food through machine automation is aligned with Deere’s. We’re excited to join the Deere team to bring autonomy to more farms.” 

The Bear Flag team, which includes agriculture professionals, engineers, and technologists, will continue to be based in Silicon Valley and will work closely with Deere to accelerate innovation and autonomy.

“Deere and Bear Flag are highly complementary from both a technology and mission perspective,” says Dan Leibfried, director – automation & autonomy, at Deere. “We look forward to working even closer together with the ultimate goal of helping farmers achieve the best possible outcomes through advanced technology like autonomy.” 

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