Boston-based food tech startup Cambridge Crops rebrands as Mori; raises $12M to reduce food waste
The United States alone wastes around 40% of the food it produces. Globally, food waste corresponds to an annual loss of 2.6 trillion USD. Mori seeks to recapture that lost value and decrease the amount of food going to waste. Enter Mori, a Boston-based food tech company that is focused on reducing waste and creating a more sustainable supply chain.
Today, Mori announced it has raised $12 million in a Series A to build out its manufacturing capabilities and continue to develop commercial partnerships in multiple food categories. The protective silk coating is used to extend food freshness. The round was led by Acre Venture Partners, with participation from new investors, including Prelude Ventures, The Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust, and ACCELR8 as well as returning investors The Engine, Refactor Capital, Closed Loop Partners, Blindspot Ventures, and The Fink Family Foundation.
Formerly known as Cambridge Crops, the company rebranded to Mori to better reflect the breadth of the technology core to its mission. The naturally occurring protein forming the basis of the company’s protective barrier comes from Bombyx mori silk, which has evolved to protect life against the elements. Mori has developed methods to give the same protection to food.
Founded in 2016 by Adam Behrens, Mori is a developer of an edible and natural biomaterial coating that extends the shelf life of perishable foods. Mori uses salt and water to extract the protein from natural silk and creates a protective layer that keeps food fresher for longer enabling it to economically and sustainably transform the food supply by developing and commercializing technologies for the food, agriculture, and packaging industries.
Mori’s technology is extracted from silk through a water-based process and has the unique ability to form a natural protective, edible, and tasteless barrier on a wide range of food items, including whole produce, cut produce, meat, fish, and processed goods. Mori’s silk protein allows food to stay fresher for longer by preventing oxidation, improving water retention, and slowing microbial growth.
“We’ve been impressed by the progress of the Mori team, and the flexibility of the technology sets them up as a very attractive solution for both food and agriculture companies. Food waste is an extraordinary challenge, both economic and environmental. Mori provides natural, well understood and cost effective solutions across various stages of the supply chain to combat waste,” said Lucas Mann, Managing Partner at Acre.
“We often ask ourselves about what we can enable by extending shelf life,” said CEO Adam Behrens. “There are major implications across food waste, food access, freight efficiency, food quality, and even the packaging we use. All unlocked with a single, naturally occurring protein.”
When discussing the new company name, Behrens adds: “we wanted our rebrand to reflect our technology’s origin in a clear and honest way. Just like honey bees make honey and beeswax, Bombyx mori make silk.”