August 07, 2021
John Deere Acquires Bear Flag Robotics to Accelerate Autonomous Technology on the Farm
Crestmead, Queensland (7 August, 2021) — Deere & Company has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Bear Flag Robotics for $250 million USD.
Founded in 2017, the Silicon Valley-based startup develops autonomous driving technology compatible with existing machines. The deal accelerates the development and delivery of automation and autonomy on the farm and supports John Deere's long-term strategy to create smarter machines with advanced technology to support individual customer needs.
John Deere Chief Technology Officer, Jahmy Hindman, said the acquisition would allow the company to continue to evolve its industry-leading agriculture technology offering, and to support a more prosperous farming sector globally.
"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," Mr Hindman said.
"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."
John Deere first started working with Bear Flag in 2019 as part of the company's Startup Collaborator program, an initiative focused on enhancing work with startup companies whose technology could add value for John Deere customers. Since then, Bear Flag has successfully deployed its autonomous solution on a limited number of farms in the U.S.
Bear Flag Robotics co-founder and CEO, Igino Cafiero, said Bear Flag was created to unlock greater efficiency in food production to feed a growing global population.
"One of the biggest challenges farmers face today is the availability of skilled labour to execute time-sensitive operations that impact farming outcomes. Autonomy offers a safe and productive alternative to address that challenge head on," Mr Cafiero 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."
The Bear Flag team consists of agriculture professionals, engineers and technologists focused on autonomy, sensor fusion, vision, data, software and hardware. They will remain in Silicon Valley where they will work closely with John Deere to accelerate innovation and autonomy for customers across the world.
John Deere Director – Automation & Autonomy, Dan Leibfried, said the two organisations were well-matched to create real change for the agriculture industry.
"Deere and Bear Flag are highly complementary from both a technology and mission perspective," Mr Leibfried said.
"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."
About John Deere:
Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land - those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world's dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure. Since 1837, John Deere has delivered innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at JohnDeere.com or in Australia at JohnDeere.com.au.
Bear Flag Robotics' (www.BearFlagRobotics.com) mission is to increase global food production, while decreasing the cost of growing food through machine automation. The company makes autonomous technology for agricultural tractors, increasing safety, reliability and profitability on farms.
Safe Harbor Statement
Statements in this release contain forward-looking information related to Deere, Bear Flag, and the acquisition that is based on current expectations and involves risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance, events, or transactions to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements.
Forward-looking statements in this release include, among other things, statements about Deere and Bear Flag's plans, objectives, expectations, business, and intentions; the potential benefits of the acquisition; and the anticipated operating synergies. Risks and uncertainties include, among other things, risks that the expected benefits from the acquisition will not be realized or will not be realized within the expected time period; the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully; significant transaction costs; unknown or understated liabilities; other business risks, including the effects of industry, market, general economic, political or regulatory conditions; future currency exchange and interest rates; changes in tax and other laws, regulations, rates and policies; and future business combinations or disposals. In addition, actual results, performance, events, and transactions are subject to other risks and uncertainties that relate more broadly to Deere's overall business, including those more fully described in Deere's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") (including, but not limited to, the factors discussed in Item 1A. Risk Factors of Deere's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q). In light of these risks, uncertainties, and other factors, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking information. Deere, except as required by law, undertakes no obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new developments or otherwise.