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Myriad Mobile CEO and co-founder Jake Joraanstad described his company's recent purchase of iNet Solutions Group as a way to "bolster our offering for the ag space." The Fargo-based tech company released its own grain app platform, Bushel, in May. Photo courtesy of Myriad Mobile

Bushel marketing tool gets $7M boost

FARGO, N.D. — Bushel, a software platform owned by Myriad Mobile LLC, of Fargo, on May 10 announced it had raised $7 million in its recent private investment round to "accelerate its patent-pending digital platform for the grain industry."

Jake Joraanstad, the company's chief executive officer and co-founder, said the company started raising funds in January for the Bushel platform. He declined to disclose the new investors but said they are led by "private investors in the agriculture and software industries."

"This puts rocket fuel behind the Bushel platform," Joraanstad said. The money will be used to "expand Bushel's reach; accelerate new features, research and development and customer success; and continue evaluating strategic acquisition opportunities," Joraanstad said.

Myriad Mobile was founded in 2011. The company has 60 employees, of which half work on the Bushel platform. The private company normally doesn't share financials, but Joraanstad noted that it was profitable in the first quarter of 2018.

Bushel was launched in 2017 after an earlier fundraising round of $1.5 million from a different set of investors, who are still investors, Joraanstad said. Bushel acquired Omaha-based iNet Solutions and their FarmCentric agribusiness platform in December 2017. Late last week, Bushel launched an "eSignature" function, as a "premium feature add-on" that lets farmers sign contracts from their phone.

Initially available in 10 pilot locations, Bushel features are available for more than 400 grain elevator and ethanol plant locations in the U.S. and Canada. About 30 of those are in North Dakota, with a "massive reach, all over the country," he said, with many in the Midwest but also on East Coast and West Coast. More than 20,000 growers "have access" to Bushel-powered smartphone apps, and more than 10,000 have uploaded and used the app.

Under the Bushel system, grain buyers including Landus Cooperative, of Des Moines, Iowa, Agtegra Cooperative, Aberdeen, S.D., (formerly Wheat Growers) and Flint Hills Resources, Wichita, Kan., provide their customers with "branded versions" of Bushel's mobile platforms, allowing farmers to access real-time information on scale tickets, contract settlements, cash bids and other details. The Bushel app is free to the farmer.

Ryan Raguse, Myriad Mobile's chairman and co-founder, said the products are easy to use and built with a team "who understand the fundamentals of farming." It is a "robust, efficient and scalable digital platform" that allows "fragmented systems" to better interact in a "secure cloud-based infrastructure."