By Anirban Sen and Jane Lanhee Lee
April 21 (Reuters) – Farmers Business Network Inc (FBN), an online agricultural supplies price comparison service, is preparing to register confidentially for a U.S. initial public offering (IPO) in the coming weeks, according to people familiar with the matter.
The California-based startup, which was valued at about $4 billion in a private financing round last year, is also close to hiring IPO underwriters, the sources said.
The company is aiming to double its valuation to about $8 billion, possibly more, at the time of its stock market flotation, they added.
The sources, who requested anonymity to discuss the confidential preparations, cautioned that the timing, size and terms of the IPO were subject to market conditions.
FBN declined to comment. In an interview with Reuters last year after FBN’s most recent fundraise, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Amol Deshpande had said that the company could go public in 2022 but had not finalized any plans.
FBN was founded in 2014 as an online marketplace where farmers can access data on their industry and improve the quality of their crops. The platform also helps farmers fix fair prices for their crops.
FBN is currently building new offerings to meet financial needs of farmers, and a separate tech platform that focuses on crop protection and seed breeding. FBN currently has offices in the United States, Canada and Australia and over 33,000 farmers are members of the platform.
The company counts Fidelity Management & Research Company, Kleiner Perkins, BlackRock, GV (formerly Google Ventures), ADM Ventures, Temasek and T. Rowe Price among its backers.
(Reporting by Anirban Sen in Bengaluru and Jane Lee in San Francisco; additional reporting by Krystal Hu in New York Editing by Marguerita Choy)
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