Bear Flag Robotics is an agricultural technology company focused on developing self-driving technology for tractors in order to increase farm efficiency in North America. We intend to expand our operations globally in the near future. Our story began in 2017 in Silicon Valley, with our co-founders Aubrey Donnellan and Igino Cafiero.
We focus on the development of autonomous farming tractors that are compatible with existing farm machinery. Bear Flag Robotics does not sell tractors; rather, we retrofit existing tractors with patented artificial intelligence technology to increase their efficiency and productivity.
We recently shared some exciting news about our acquisition by John Deere. In the wake of that announcement, we have been receiving numerous inquiries about our company: how we got started, how we have evolved, and why we do what we do. Read on for a brief history of Bear Flag Robotics.
Early Funding And Partnerships
In the fall of 2017, we joined the Y Combinator program. This program is a seed money startup accelerator with a very strict selection process; the program has aided nearly 3,000 startups like ours since its inception in 2005.
Our experience of the Y Combinator program concluded in 2018, as part of their winter class. Upon completion of the program, we received a total of $120,000 in seed money for our startup.
Our company expanded fast, and a growing number of investors recognized the value of our unique approach to robotics. We partnered with True Ventures in 2018 and raised an additional $3.5 million. After two years, we secured a $7.9 million seed extension led by True Ventures in collaboration with Graphene Ventures, AgFunder, D20, and Green Cow VC.
We have been adding customers for a long time. However, in early 2021, Bear Flag partnered with Church Brothers Farms; one of the largest farms in the United States, based in the Salinas Valley of California.
Acquisition By John Deere
In 2019, we began working with John Deere as part of their Startup Collaborator program. The collaboration was a success, and in August 2021, we were acquired by the company. The partnership was made possible by the fact that Bear Flag’s technology complements Deere’s own technology initiatives, and their macro goal of assisting farmers in achieving optimal results and overcoming modern agricultural challenges through the use of advanced technology like robotics solutions.
The agreement, valued at $250 million, was signed between Deere & Company and Bear Flag Robotics in August of 2021. This agreement has resulted in a significant acceleration of the development and implementation of our farm automation. The deal reaffirmed John Deere’s long-term strategic objective of developing smarter machines equipped with advanced technology in order to meet the needs of its large customer base.
The Future Of Bear Flag Robotics
Bear Flag Robotics was founded to empower farmers. Our objective is not to replace farmworkers, but to free them from mundane tasks and enable them to focus on other revenue-generating tasks around the farm. One of the most significant challenges farmers face today is a shortage of skilled labor to perform time-sensitive operations. We recognize the value of robotics in providing productive alternatives for farmers.
Throughout our history, we have pioneered a sustainable, accessible, and efficient farming solution. We were founded to bring food production costs down while increasing global output. Our company is dedicated to developing the best-in-class technology for autonomous agricultural equipment.
With the new impetus provided by the expertise of John Deere, we are excited about what the future holds. To keep up with our farming technology developments, sign up for our newsletter and receive regular updates and news about Bear Flag Robotics.