Venture Capital: V.C. Arm Of Agricultural Cooperatives Invests In Agtech Startup Sabanto

November 4, 2022 | News, Venture Capital

Sabanto automates tractors for use in row crop field operations throughout the U.S.

Cooperative Ventures, a venture capital fund formed as a joint venture between CHS and GROWMARK, two of the largest farmer-owned agricultural supply cooperatives in North America, invests in innovative solutions and emerging technologies that positively impact farming. The fund announced today its first investment in Sabanto, an agricultural start-up that is currently focused on retrofitting 60 to 200 hp tractors to operate autonomously. (CISION PR NEWSWIRE)


Founded in 2018, Sabanto has already proven its ability to automate several row crop field operations including planting, tillage, spraying, and mowing over thousands of acres across the Midwest.

The Farming-as-a-Service company specializes in low-cost retrofits of existing agriculture machinery regardless of make or model, along with the development of necessary supporting software to optimize the utility of autonomous technology as well as increase the return on investment.

The company’s advanced mission control platform has been pivotal in deploying multiple systems for multiple days of non-stop operation, pushing the concept to the limit by planting over 750 acres of corn and soybeans in one season with a single 60 HP tractor.

In August, Sabanto closed an oversubscribed $17M Series A funding round led by leading agtech venture firm Fulcrum Global Capital, with participation from DCVC Bio, Hico Capital, Yara Growth Ventures, Cavallo Ventures, Johnsonville Ventures, and Trimble Ventures.

Autonomous farm machinery a solution to labor shortages

“The labor shortage in ag retail is a very real problem,” said GROWMARK Director of Innovation Heather Thompson. “Autonomy presents an exciting solution but adopting autonomous equipment creates a new set of challenges for traditional operations. By partnering with Sabanto, GROWMARK and our FS cooperatives have the advanced opportunity to test and learn the impacts of this cutting-edge technology.”

“Cooperative Ventures’ investment is a testament to the importance of autonomy in the future of row crop agriculture. Given the vast network of customers and acres across GROWMARK and CHS, the path to autonomous field operations will certainly be accelerated,” remarked Craig Rupp, the CEO of Sabanto.

Related Story: John Deere’s Advances in AI Powered Agriculture Machinery

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