Syngenta plans to acquire Brazilian farm management software platform Strider for an undisclosed sum, pending regulatory review by Brazilian authorities. This will be the second such deal for Syngenta in 2018 following the acquisition of remote sensing startup FarmShots last month.
Strider had been in discussions with Syngenta Ventures about their next funding round, which would have been a Series B, when CEO Luiz Tangari Pereira said that it became clear that an acquisition would be the best outcome for both parties.
Strider will maintain its name and “will remain as an independent operating unit supporting Striders’ customers but also helping to build Syngenta’ digital offering in Latin America.
To date, the company currently has 60 employees, all of which will transfer to Syngenta.
The company currently has four products, with more still in development stages: Strider Protect, which helps growers make decisions around pesticide applications; Strider Base, which tracks operations throughout the year; Strider Space, which uses satellite imagery to identify problem areas and track historical performance; and Strider Tracker, a network of sensors and radio antennae to track machinery and implements in real time.
Strider’s capabilities and market penetration have already pitted Strider against Monsanto’s Climate Corporation, which has been expanding in Latin American over the last year.
That competition is likely to heat up with this acquisition, but Syngenta and Monsanto aren’t likely to have a two-man contest for long according to Francisco Jardim, managing director of SP Ventures, the most active farm tech investor in South America.
“This is the first digital ag acquisition in Brazil by ‘big ag.’ With three to four years of delay, Latin America is clearly entering the global ranks of the agtech ecosystem,” Jardim told AgFunderNews. He continued, “If FMC, DowDuPont, BASF and the rest of the market don´t react with other investments and acquisitions, they will soon be far behind Syngenta and Monsanto.”