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Growers Edge raises $15 million investment round, announces new CEO

Growers Edge, a financial technology company serving the ag industry, announced this week the successful close of a $15 million Series B extension round of financing.

The latest round of funding was led by S2G Ventures and Cox Enterprises, along with existing investors iSelect Fund, Skyline Global Partners, Finistere Ventures and Bunge.

In conjunction with the funding news, the company also announced a leadership transition. Dan Cosgrove, the former CEO of Growers Edge, has stepped down from his role, effective immediately. The Board has selected Hollie Bunn to serve as Interim CEO and lead the company into the next phase of growth.

“As the Board and I looked toward the future, we saw a need to leverage fintech talent to complement the company’s deep ag expertise,” said Cosgrove. “Hollie Bunn delivers on that need, and as she assumes the reins of Growers Edge, I am confident her expertise, steady hand, and deep connection to the ag lending industry will be invaluable as Growers Edge scales to drive growth.”

Bunn joined Growers Edge in 2020 where she formerly served as Growers Edge’s Chief Lending Officer and Executive Vice President.

“Although agriculture is one of the largest and most complex financial markets in the world, I believe it has been terribly underserved,” said Bunn. “Leading Growers Edge into its next phase of growth to modernize and innovate financial solutions for the ag industry is a responsibility I am thrilled to accept.”

Growers Edge raises $15 million investment round, announces new CEO | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
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