In the world of robotic startups, acquisition is often as good an outcome as any. And when it comes to robotic tractor startups, you could do worse than being acquired by John Deere. The agricultural technology giant announced today that it’s set to acquire Bear Flag Robotics for $250 million.

The Bay Area-based firm, which specializes in autonomous farming heavy machinery, was founded in 2017. They first crossed our radar the following year, as a member of YC’s Winter 2018 cohort.

“We got a tour of an orchard and just how pronounced the labor problem is,” co-founder Aubrey Donnellan told TechCrunch at the time. “They’re struggling to fill seats on tractors. We talked to other growers in California. We kept hearing the same thing over and over: Labor is one of the most significant pain points. It’s really hard to find quality labor. The workforce is aging out. They’re leaving the country and going into other…

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