Food safety and traceability technology startup SafeTraces has raised $10 million in extra Series A funding taking the total round to $16.5 million.
SafeTraces manufactures biological tracers — invisible, edible, odorless, and tasteless barcodes — that food producers and processors can apply directly to food with a spray. The seaweed-based DNA tracer or tag can be used to determine the provenance and qualities of food for verification throughout the supply chain. They can also be applied to equipment to ensure sanitation.
Bunge Ventures, the venture arm of the global agribusiness, led the round alongside S2G Ventures, the agrifood tech venture capital firm. It adds to the $6.5 million first close last year led by impact investor Omidyar Network.
“Traceability of food and feed ingredients is an increasingly important issue for participants all along the value chain,” said Nanda Kumar Puthucode, managing director of Bunge Ventures in a statement. “The digital bar code technology of SafeTraces provides source transparency at the physical product level, helping strengthen value chain integrity.”
Since raising the first round of Series A funding, SafeTraces has gained particular traction in tracing tropical oils to determine the sustainability of the sourcing practices, Anthony Zografos, CEO told AgFunderNews.
It has also been contracted by Turkey to trace ammonium nitrate fertilizers that can be used in explosives, he added.
“The SafeTraces technology can be used to help ensure sustainable sourcing, protect brands from adulteration and fraud, and facilitate rapid resolution of food borne illness outbreaks,” added Simin Zhou, VP & managing director of UL Ventures, another investor in SafeTraces. “The technology has broad applicability to commodities ranging from fresh produce and grains to oils and fibers.”
SafeTraces raised $1.5 million in seed funding in 2016.