Google Backs Farm-Focused Startup as 'AgTech' Blooms

Google on Tuesday pumped $15 million into a farming-focused technology startup, the latest in a surge of investment applying Internet innovations to growing food.

The funding round led by Google's investment arm brings to nearly $28 million the total amount of money pumped into Farmers Business Network (FBN) by backers including powerhouse Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

"Farmers are quintessential entrepreneurs; they are on their own and are mechanics, hackers, managers, animal specialists and more," FBN co-founder Charles Baron told AFP.

"Agriculture has always seen lots of innovation. What you are seeing more of now is venture-backed companies pushing into agriculture."

Silicon Valley-based FBN is part of a flourishing sector known as agricultural technology, or "AgTech' for short.

FBN is a platform that lets farmers pool and share data gathered from arrays of sensors and computers involved with tilling the soil.

Data is analyzed by...

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