Susa Ventures is excited to announce our investment in FarmRaise, a full-stack financial services platform for farms. We led the round with participation from Cendana Capital, Ulu Ventures, Better Tomorrow Ventures, Pear VC, and a slew of other great firms and angels. We’re thrilled to welcome Jayce, Sami, Albert, and the rest of the FarmRaise team to the Susa family!
FarmRaise co-founders: Jayce Hafner, Albert Abedi, Sami Tellatin
Susa has a long track record in fintech: we were early investors in Robinhood and have continued to build out a portfolio across many verticals in the sector including companies like Newfront Insurance, Float, Fast, Human Interest, and more. However, what compelled us most about FarmRaise was not our thesis around fintech, but its amazing team and mission.
During our final meeting before making the investment in FarmRaise, Jayce had a unique Zoom background: a farm landscape just nearing sunset. Yet this was no picture or attempt to create credibility, she was actually at a farm. And not just any farm, but her very own family’s farm.
FarmRaise co-founder: Jayce Hafner
Jayce grew up on a cattle farm before she went to Stanford for her undergrad and MBA. Her parents faced the same problems that many other farmers face: there are financial SaaS solutions for almost every SMB vertical, but financial tools for the agriculture industry remain decades behind.
In 2020, Jayce tried to apply for government grants that would help her family further invest in more sustainable grazing practices. She was floored by the bureaucratic paperwork and time-consuming process that the application required. Teaming up with her co-founders, she began to realize just how widespread the need for financial access and back-office tools is amongst farmers.
FarmRaise’s platform helps farmers find and unlock funding for soil carbon sequestration, water conservation, renewable energy, and organic market access. These initiatives will help America scale sustainable and regenerative agriculture practices across the country. Sustainability and profitability are now inextricably linked, and financial access is the gateway to better outcomes. FarmRaise envisions a future of American agriculture centered around the thriving local farm that provides us with healthier food that’s also good for the planet.
FarmRaise works by consuming granular farm insights and structuring the data to provide financial tools and services for the farm. Their first product is a rapid, simplified application for the same grant program Jayce tried to access, reducing weeks of research and paperwork to minutes. The voracious early reception from farmers, thousands of whom joined the platform, spoke volumes about the need for a product like this.
Making grants more accessible is just the start. FarmRaise arms farmers with financial tools and resources that enable them to apply better farming practices to almost one billion acres of farmland. These tools, which include everything from assistance with grants and loans, to tax planning and banking, will have a big impact on individual farmers, the food we eat, and our planet. All of us at Susa believe that sustainability is critical to humanity’s future. While technological innovation is a big part of sustainability, financing is often the missing link between creating technologies and deploying them. FarmRaise fills that gap.
Since meeting Jayce and her team, we’ve also begun to describe ourselves as farmer-obsessed: passionate about supporting small farmers and driven to bring vitality to farming communities across America. We think FarmRaise will be a critical part of the rebirth of a healthier, more sustainable agricultural industry, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with the team.
FarmRaise is hiring farmer-obsessed people across engineering, farmer success, and growth roles. Join today!
Our Investment in FarmRaise was originally published in Susa Ventures on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.