After A Wave of Agtech Acqui-hires, DTN-Spensa Deal Changes the Script

On April 2, DTN, a Minnesota-based digital insights company spanning multiple industries including agriculture and oil and gas, closed the acquisition of pest detection technology startup Spensa Technologies for an undisclosed sum.

DTN is a 34-year-old privately held company offering digital ag products that range from weather forecasting and nitrogen modeling to market data for livestock producers and more. The company has been making moves to broaden its agricultural offering of late. In addition to the acquisition of Spensa, DTN partnered with Agronomic Technology Corp to offer its Adapt-N and N-Sight nitrogen modeling capabilities  (acquired by Yara in 2017) in February 2018. DTN is also the owner of The Progressive Farmer magazine.

Founded in 2009, Spensa had raised a total of $4.5 million before being acquired, the most recent round of which was a $2.5 million Series A round in 2015 from a group of high net-worth individuals, mTerra Ventures, VilCap Investments, the venture arm of incubator and accelerator group Village Capital, and Elevate Ventures, an Indianapolis-based firm.

Spensa’s core hardware product is the Z-Trap, an insect sensor. The company also offers a software platform, a scouting app, which focuses on precision pest management by collecting manual observations of insects, disease and weeds, providing insights on the likelihood of those pests emerging in the field, economic implications, and optimizing pesticide spray programs.

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