Food supply chain tech startup Strella Biotech raises $3.3M seed funding to take on the challenge of $1 trillion in global food waste
Over one third of produce never reaches the consumer, creating massive loss and cost. Of the produce that does reach the consumer, much of it is not of the quality or ripeness that consumers want. Enter Strella Biotech, a Philadelphia, PA-based early stage agriculture technology startup and a provider of biosensing platforms that predict the ripeness of fruit, reducing waste and improving produce quality.
Today, Strella Biotech announced it has $3.3 million in seed funding to fight $1 trillion in global food waste. The oversubscribed seed funding round for Strella Biotech co-led by YMVSV and Catapult Ventures raised a total $3.3 million U.S. with additional investments from Union Labs, Mark Cuban Red & Blue Ventures, and supply chain pioneer Art Mesher.
The funding will also support the company’s product expansion into the retail distribution market, refining its technology for on-pallet sensing to allow data streaming throughout transportation to ensure better product selection by distributors and product quality at delivery to grocery stores. To date, Strella has monitored nearly 150 million fruits in the packing segment of the supply chain, where some fruits are stored for up to a year to accommodate for demand. Fruit packers use Strella technology to predict fruit maturation in storage and schedule shipments to retailers, resulting in reduced food spoilage.
Founded in 2018, Strella Biotechnology provides actionable data to optimize the fresh produce supply chain. With proprietary biosensor technology fueled by Internet-of-Things capabilities, Strella Biotech offers a data-driven approach to ensuring fruit quality throughout every segment of the supply chain. Strella Biotech is working to help produce companies increase their margins and decrease shrink by providing dynamic shelf life predictions.
Commenting on the funding, Katherine Sizov, CEO of Strella Biotechnology, said: “This is an incredibly exciting time in the lifecycle of Strella Biotech and to have Yamaha Motor Ventures as a partner to help deliver our food waste solution to the global market is very validating.” She added: “Gaining access to both funding and expertise from Yamaha will help us scale and evolve our ethylene-sensing IP and we look forward to our path forward together.”
The company said that it is committed to supporting lower carbon emissions from the fresh produce industry and increasing sustainability for a healthier planet. Strella Biotech brings shelf life visibility to the fresh produce supply chain. The Company’s technology combines novel IoT biosensors with actionable insights to maximize freshness and reduce spoilage of fruit.