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Image credit: DiMuto

DiMuto scores funding to take its traceability tech global

March 30, 2020

DiMuto, a supply chain visibility platform for the agrifood sector, has received funding from Colombia’s Latin Leap VC Studio.

The Singaporean startup will use the funding to support its expansion in Latin America. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

DiMuto digitizes agrifood supply chains using blockchain technology and artificial intelligence. So far, it has focused on fruit farming and distribution. Its digital asset creation devices assign a tag to each piece of fruit in a carton, as well as a QR code and image record for each carton, as they pass through the supply chain.

This data is uploaded to DiMuto’s blockchain along with trade documentation as the fruit transits from farms to wholesalers and then through customs and on to distributors, retailers, and end consumers.

Putting durians on the blockchain

The hope is that the transparency and traceability provided by the platform will reduce wastage, ensure food safety and quality, and reduce potential disputes by improving trust between parties, as well as improving chances for securing credit. All this becomes even more pressing amid the pressure put on the food supply chain amid the Covid-19 pandemic, said DiMuto co-founder and CEO Gary Loh.

“With data captured using our solutions, stakeholders in the agrifood supply chain are now able to see the quality of fresh produce [as it’s] being shipped, creating trust and visibility in the uncertainty brought on by Covid-19,” he said.

DiMuto claims to have tagged and tracked over 30 million pieces of fruit to date, covering fruit supplies worth over $100 million in transaction value.

Last year it unveiled a partnership with Thailand’s Queen Frozen Fruit, a major exporter of fresh and frozen durian – the odoriferous ‘love it or hate it’ fruit that’s wildly popular across Southeast Asia. DiMuto financing partner Havenport was able to extend a line of credit to Queen thanks to the enhanced supply chain data DiMuto collected by putting the Thai company’s durians on its blockchain.

Western Australia’s Morning Glory Farms also uses DiMuto’s tech to keep track of its spaghetti squashes, as does Chinese apple exporter Xing Ye Yuan Group.

Latin America opportunity

In addition to Australia, China, Thailand, and its native Singapore, DiMuto has a presence in Indonesia and Malaysia. It also has clients in the US and Mexico, from where it can spearhead further expansion in Latin America with the funding and connections provided by new investor Latin Leap.

As an indication of the importance of agriculture to the region’s economy, Latin America’s agricultural trade surplus hit US$104.3 billion in 2017. A 2019 report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development and the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization found that tropical fruits alone accounted for US$15.5 billion in export value for Latin America between 2016 and 2018.

Twelve years on from China’s melamine milk scandal, digitalization is driving food safety across the value chain. Read more here

Latin Leap launched last year with the objective of assisting startups from Southeast Asia to expand into Latin American markets. It is looking at investments across several verticals, including agtech, particularly at Series B and C stage.

“With the strong outlook for the agricultural sector in Latin America […] the industry would benefit from [the] digitalization and traceability offered by DiMuto, that would bring peace of mind to consumers around the world,” said Latin Leap general partner Stefan Krautwald. “DiMuto fits perfectly into our investment thesis of soft-landing tech-enabled businesses with a positive impact on society in Latin America.”

DiMuto’s other investors include PwC, the Singapore government’s SG Innovate, and First Alverstone Capital (where Loh serves as executive chairman). The startup is also in Singaporean blockchain accelerator Tribe’s second cohort.

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