Deere to Advance Machine Learning Capabilities in Acquisition of Blue River Technology
MOLINE, Illinois (September 6, 2017) — Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Blue River Technology, which is based in Sunnyvale, California and is a leader in applying machine learning to agriculture.
"We welcome the opportunity to work with a Blue River Technology team that is highly skilled and intensely dedicated to rapidly advancing the implementation of machine learning in agriculture," said John May, President, Agricultural Solutions, and Chief Information Officer at Deere. "As a leader in precision agriculture, John Deere recognizes the importance of technology to our customers. Machine learning is an important capability for Deere's future."
As an innovation leader, Blue River Technology has successfully applied machine learning to agricultural spraying equipment and Deere is confident that similar technology can be used in the future on a wider range of products, May said.
Blue River has designed and integrated computer vision and machine learning technology that will enable growers to reduce the use of herbicides by spraying only where weeds are present, optimizing the use of inputs in farming – a key objective of precision agriculture.
"Blue River is advancing precision agriculture by moving farm management decisions from the field level to the plant level," said Jorge Heraud, co-founder and CEO of Blue River Technology. "We are using computer vision, robotics, and machine learning to help smart machines detect, identify, and make management decisions about every single plant in the field."
Already in 2017, Blue River Technology has been listed among Inc. Magazine's 25 Most Disruptive Companies, Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies, CB Insights 100 Most Promising Artificial Intelligence Companies in the World, and the Top 50 Agricultural Innovations by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.
Deere said it will invest $305 million to fully acquire Blue River Technology. Deere plans to have the 60-person firm remain in Sunnyvale with an objective to continue its rapid growth and innovation with the same entrepreneurial spirit that has led to its success. The transaction is expected to close in September.
May said the investment in Blue River Technology is similar to Deere's acquisition of NavCom Technology in 1999 that established Deere as a leader in the use of GPS technology for agriculture and accelerated machine connectivity and optimization.
Deere & Company (www.JohnDeere.com) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land - those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world's dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure. Since 1837, John Deere has delivered innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity.
Blue River Technology (www.BlueRiverTechnology.com) is a pioneer in applying machine learning to help farmers optimize every plant in their fields. By providing equipment that can see and manage each plant, Blue River helps farmers reduce inputs, increase profitability and care for the land.
Safe Harbor Statement
Statements in this release contain forward-looking information related to Deere, Blue River Technology, and the Acquisition that is based on current expectations and involves risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance, events, or transactions to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements.
Forward-looking statements in this release include, among other things, statements about Deere and Blue River Technology's plans, objectives, expectations, business, and intentions; the anticipated timing of closing of the Acquisition; the potential benefits of the proposed Acquisition; and the anticipated operating synergies. Risks and uncertainties include, among other things, risks related to the satisfaction of the conditions to closing the acquisition in the anticipated timeframe or at all, risks that the expected benefits from the proposed acquisition will not be realized or will not be realized within the expected time period; the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully; significant transaction costs; unknown or understated liabilities; other business risks, including the effects of industry, market, general economic, political or regulatory conditions; future currency exchange and interest rates; changes in tax and other laws, regulations, rates and policies; and future business combinations or disposals. In addition, actual results, performance, events, and transactions, are subject to other risks and uncertainties that relate more broadly to Deere's overall business, including those more fully described in Deere's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") (including, but not limited to, the factors discussed in Item 1A. Risk Factors of Deere's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q). In light of these risks, uncertainties, and other factors, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking information. Deere, except as required by law, undertakes no obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new developments or otherwise.