VC report: Flipboard seeking to raise $50 million; ag tech gets another boost from Google

Flipboard, the mobile news app, is raising $50 million in a new round of funding, according to a new financial filing.

Flipboard has authorized the sale of 22.7 million shares of stock priced at $2.21 each for a Series D financing round, according to documents obtained by intelligence and data firm VC Experts and shared with tech news site TechCrunch.

The Palo Alto-based company makes a magazine-style app to aggregate news articles, stories and images. Users can “flip” through their social-networking feeds and feeds from news publications that have partnered with the mobile site, including The Washington Post, Conde Nast, The Wall Street Journal and Travel & Leisure.

The funding round could push Flipboard’s valuation to more than $1.3 billion.

The company is backed by VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers — Ellen Pao sat on its board — and has raised more than $160 million in funding. It had previously been named as an acquisition target after reports of deal discussions with Google and Yahoo surfaced.

In other funding news, Google has made its fourth investment into a farm-tech company in software startup Granular. The company announced it has raised $18.7 million in a Series B that was led by Tao Capital Partners and included participation from previous investors Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Khosla Ventures. The company makes farm management software that helps farmers improve crop yield and maximize profit. The Series B brings Granular’s total funding to about $25 million.

Google has also invested in the The Climate Corporation, weather monitoring and simulation software acquired by Monsanto in 2013; Farmers Business Network, a platform for farmers to share data; and Solum, which makes soil measurement technology, according to CrunchBase.

The Mercury News has reported on Silicon Valley’s increasing interest — from both VCs and entrepreneurs  — in transforming agriculture and food production through new technology. However, a difficult cultural gap, which has created at times a total lack of understanding on the part of Silicon Valley and lack of trust on the part of farmers, has made ag tech one of the more difficult industries to crack.

Image of Flipboard Web app provided by Flipboard


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