MachineryLink Inc., a Kansas City-based provider of progressive combine leasing products North American farmers, has raised $18.4 million in Series B funding. The round was co-led by individuals Oakleigh Thorne, Glen Taylor and Jack Blumenstein. Return backers included October Capital, Adams Street Partners, River Cities Capital Funds and Alpha Capital Partners.
MachineryLink, Inc., today announced it has closed a transaction for $18.4 million in equity funding to support its continued growth and market expansion. Alongside existing shareholders, individual investors Oakleigh Thorne, Glen A. Taylor and Jack Blumenstein led the transaction. Oakleigh Thorne is the former chairman and CEO of eCollege.com [NASDAQ: ECLG] and is a founder of Blumenstein/Thorne Information Partners, LLC, with holdings including Aircell, LLC, ShopperTrak, and Datamark, Inc. Mr. Thorne also served as CEO of Commerce Clearing House, Inc. [NASDAQ: CCH] and is founder and manager of Thorndale Farm LLC, a private asset management firm.
Glen A. Taylor is chairman of Taylor Corporation, a company specializing in print and marketing media, and is majority owner of the NBA Minnesota Timberwolves and WNBA Minnesota Lynx. Mr. Taylor also has substantial holdings in other agricultural and medical technology businesses.
Jack Blumenstein is president and chief executive officer of Aircell, LLC, a revolutionary mobile broadband network and service platform for commercial and business aviation, and co-founder and co-president of Blumenstein/Thorne Information Partners, LLC. Mr. Blumenstein previously served as president and chief executive officer of Ardis, a joint venture of Motorola and IBM.
With corporate headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., MachineryLink is the leading provider of managed combine leasing programs to agricultural producers in North America. The company, which recently added more than 70 John Deere and Case IH combines to its fleet, will operate more than 260 late-model combines in the United States and Canada during the 2008 harvest.
“We are delighted to have the continued support of our early-stage investors, and we also are excited to have such a strong commitment of new equity sponsorship,” said Scott Hazlett, president and CEO of MachineryLink. “Today's producer faces ever-escalating input costs on a landscape of significant commodity price volatility. Risk management, sustainable means to increased return on capital, and healthier cash flows are at the heart of our value proposition. This latest round of equity funding reflects the continued confidence in this unique business model, and the ever-increasing role that this kind of innovation will play in production agriculture.”
“This is an exciting time to participate in such an important change in agriculture, and MachineryLink represents a compelling and unique value to growers,” said Oakleigh Thorne. “Producers will increasingly need business partners like MachineryLink to better manage productivity investments in their operations and hedge risk. This company is poised for tremendous growth.”
Since MachineryLink was founded in 2000, it has continued to expand its harvest footprint, as well as its service and customer support infrastructure. Last year, the company's grower-customers harvested more than 1.5 million acres in 33 states and the Western Canadian provinces.
“MachineryLink has established itself as an important component in the success of a growing number of progressive growers across North America,” said Glen A. Taylor.
“The company provides an economical alternative to traditional farm asset management practices, and we believe more and more producers are recognizing this approach to risk management as critical to increased profitability for the long-term.”
About MachineryLink, Inc.
MachineryLink (www.machinerylink.com) is the leading provider of combine leasing programs to agricultural producers in North America. Its headquarters are in Kansas City, Mo., with service and operations centers near Wichita, Kan., and North Sioux City, South Dakota. The company also maintains seasonal service facilities in five locations across the United States. The company's managed lease program allows growers to significantly lower their equipment costs by providing the latest harvest technology with guaranteed delivery and pick-up.