Software manufacturer Bushel has announced the closing of its $47 million Series C investment, its largest round of funding to date. The funding, led by investment firm Lewis & Clark AgriFood in St. Louis, and global holding company Continental Grain Co., sets the company up to propel into a higher echelon of participation in the grain origination process. It was also announced that Consolidated Grain and Barge Co. is expected to close their investment in the round in the coming weeks.
The infusion of growth capital and continued partnership of the syndicate will introduce payments, credit, trading offerings, and increased data services, including capabilities to help consumer brands sustainably source commodities in the global grain supply chain. The funding will also accelerate Bushel’s current product offerings that currently deliver value to growers, commodity buyers, ag retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPGs).
“We have really solidified the tipping point for Bushel,” says Jake Joraanstad, Bushel CEO and Co-Founder. Looking at the new investment and growth in use, Joraanstad asserts that Bushel is a “real scaled out opportunity, and there are a ton of ways to help these companies we work with and their farmers. But just getting to this point is really a big stepping stone toward building a solid business in the U.S. and Canada.”
“We are excited to invest further into Bushel alongside some of our high-value partners like Cargill and Scoular,” said Chris Abbott, Co-Head of Continental Grain Ventures. “Bushel is one of the leading independent software companies in agriculture, and serves as the critical link connecting growers to grain buyers, processors, brands, and consumers. This funding accelerates deployment of new offerings and embedded capabilities throughout the food and ag value chain. We believe it results in better outcomes for growers and the supply chain.”
“Our goal is to help all businesses that are buying grain from the farmer originate more effectively with that grower and solidify that digital relationship,” says Joraanstad. “The opportunity here was to go from Bushel being available on a lot of small and medium platforms to also being ready to move onto the bigger platforms like a Cargill or others who need to be a part of this digital supply chain. We are trying to build a digital infrastructure here, and I think these big players coming on the platform is more proof that what we are doing is going to matter and be an effective long-term solution in the supply chain.”
According to Bushel, its platform reaches 40% of grain origination in the U.S., and $22 billion worth of grain is contracted annually within the company’s ecosystem. It will continue to pursue new participants throughout the value chain, particularly CPGs and consumer brands, that will benefit from upstream and midstream data insights and help deliver on sustainability promises, says Joraanstad.
For his part, Larry Page, Managing Director of Lewis & Clark, believes that Bushel will emerge as a leader in connecting disparate data systems in the food and agriculture supply chain. “Digital innovation has landed on the farm, but few companies are focused on the digital side of agriculture from the farm gate and beyond,” he says. “We hear so much noise in the space with very little real traction. As Bushel has consistently gained market share, it has become clear that the ability to connect data with physical grain has significant value for many stakeholders in our food system.”
Bushel reports that 60,000 growers use its products and services monthly, and nearly 2,000 grain buying locations across the U.S. and Canada utilize its services to power their grower-facing and internal software products. Bushel’s platform integrates into multiple grain accounting systems, trading desks, farm management systems, insurance companies, and market feeds to allow different software systems to work with each other.