SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Strella Biotechnology, Inc., developer of proprietary produce sensor technology designed to reduce food waste and improve quality, today announced the close of a Series A funding round totaling $8 million. The oversubscribed round was led by Millennium New Horizons with participation from Google Ventures and Rich Products Ventures and joined by existing investors Mark Cuban, Yamaha Motor Ventures, Catapult Ventures and Union Labs.
Working to solve a critical challenge in the food supply chain, Strella’s novel IoT biosensors and real-time data streaming measures the maturity, or ripeness, of each fruit produce. Strella’s technology enables freshness to be monitored from harvest to grocery store shelf, helping to reduce food waste and drive produce quality.
“Suppliers, retailers and importers are doing their best to bring high-quality, healthy produce to consumers in the most efficient way possible. However, unlike manufactured foods, there is no accurate expiration date for produce, which makes optimizing inventory a challenge for the industry across the entire supply chain,” said Katherine Sizov, CEO and co-founder of Strella. “We’re proud to work with such incredible investors to tackle this increasingly urgent problem and support growers and retailers with an end-to-end solution.”
With initial adoption in the apple industry, this latest financing will support Strella’s expansion in grocery chain rollouts at national scale, and further product development to address additional commodities. Strella is currently working with upstream fruit suppliers and some of the nation’s largest importers and retailers. To date, the company has monitored over 2.1 billion pieces of fruit.
“More and more retailers are making waste reduction their top priority, with over a dozen of the world’s largest grocers looking to halve food waste by 2030,” said Ray Cheng, partner at Millennium. “By combining molecular biology with data science, Strella is uniquely positioned to solve food waste challenges at scale, as it has already demonstrated with its early customers.”
About Strella Biotech
The USDA’s Economic Research Service estimates roughly 30-40% of US food (80 billion pounds) is wasted every year. Produce is a particularly challenging issue, with 45% of all produce wasted before it ever reaches the consumer. Strella Biotech provides actionable data to optimize the fresh produce supply chain. With proprietary biosensor technology fueled by Internet-of-Things capabilities, Strella offers the produce industry a data-driven approach to ensuring fruit quality throughout every segment of the supply chain, helping to increase margins and reduce shrink by providing dynamic shelf-life predictions. Headquartered in Seattle, Strella is committed to supporting lower carbon emissions from the fresh produce industry and increasing sustainability for a healthier planet. For more information, visit www.strellabiotech.com.
Lisa Spicer, SPEC-PR