What Does Farmers Edge Offer?
Farmers Edge is a digital company that seeks to empower modern farmers using data-driven technologies. The company aims to ambitiously leverage this data helping farmers to produce more food by practicing sustainable farming. The original intention of this company is to collect data from drones, weather stations, and satellite imagery. Then, this data is available to a professional team of data scientists to analyze the agricultural ecosystem. The company uses the findings for predictive modeling to improve the process taking into account agricultural equipment, soil state, crops, and weather conditions.
As its supposedly reputable private company, Farmers Edge ventured into the public arena, launching an IPO in March 2021. The initial price featured in the IPO was $20 per share. Unfortunately, that didn’t last long. By December 24th, 2021, the price per share had fallen to an impressive $2.61. Something was wrong somewhere, and it was eating up the ambitious company from the inside out.
You would think that such a zealous company within a thriving field ought to have reached astronomical heights by now. Sadly, misfortune seems to be hot on the heels of this venture, thanks to the unprofessional management team. The loss of millions from its main shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH), is another downfall to Farmers Edge. With these woes, what is the fate of its shareholders?
When to Expect a Profit?
While investing in Farmer’s Edge, FFH lost $10.5 million in 2017 and suffered another $32.7 million in 2018. By December 2017, the company had reported a $10.5m loss, even with a 43.5% acquisition of Farmers Edge for $95 million in March.
In 2018, FFH provided additional funding of $64 million, suffering further losses reported at $32.7 million. By the end of 2019, the FFH owned 50.4% of Farmers Edge, estimated at $43.8 million. However, the losses continued. With the continuous string of failures that FFH experienced while investing in Farmers Edge, the future of this company is not too bright.
Shareholders at FE don’t have much to smile about; the company is currently not profitable. Even worse, there is no projection of the company becoming profitable. Farmers Edge knows it, and this, probably, is why it absolved itself from predicting its profitability over the next three years. So, shareholders have to brace themselves for more challenging times ahead.
Who’s on Top?
Poor management within Farmers Edge is sinking the company further into oblivion. The CEO, Wade Barnes, has been accused of bias in selecting the company’s executives. His acquaintances and relatives occupy many of Farmers Edge’s high-level positions. The internal biases have influenced poor business decisions, burdening the company even further. Interestingly, the CEO’s wife, a former interpreter with no prior knowledge of agricultural technology, is now the Chief Management Officer at FE.
What About Employee Turnover?
Farmers Edge has a high employee turnover, evident from a mass exodus of employees in influential positions. In 2021 alone, four top-level managers exited the company as of July. The exit reveals the level of unsettlement in the company employees, who are likely to follow suit and resign like their managers. And not just employees, customers have a lot to say about Farmers Edge too.
What Are People Saying About FE?
You’re mistaken if you thought farmers didn’t complain about Farmers Edge. Thanks to poor customer handling, the company has problems from every angle. Any reputable business understands how valuable customers are. However, at FE, customer handling is below par, evident from the poor customer retention.
As one former customer put it:
“Tried it last year. Didn’t work for me. Once they get their money, you hardly hear from them. I was on the lower plan, but a neighbour did their soil sampling a VR program. They ended up hiring most of the soil sampling done by the guys that normally do it anyhow because the Farmers Edge guys didn’t get to it. Seems like they’re more concerned with getting bigger than servicing the acres they already have.”
Plus, a negative review left by a former employee on the Glassdoor site:
“Upper management is nothing but arrogant bullies who somehow swindled their way into those high ranking positions.”
Are You Ready to Invest in Farmers Edge?
This company has too many red flags to consider investing in it. Yes, it is an ambitious company that aims to provide value to farmers, but the internal rot in FE will only frustrate you as a shareholder. With all the company’s issues outlined in this article, investing in Farmers Edge isn’t worth the risk.