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Image credit: ZoomAgri

EXCLUSIVE: ZoomAgri raises $3.3m for ‘vision-as-a-service’ food inspection tech

August 25, 2021

ZoomAgri has raised $3.3 million in a “pre-Series A” round from SP Ventures, Artesian, GrainInnovate, and Glocal, AFN can reveal. This round brings the business’s total funding to $4.75 million. 

Headquartered in Spain but mainly operating in Argentina, ZoomAgri’s goal is to digitize the antiquated testing, inspection, and certification (TIC) aspect of the agricultural commodities and food sector through its “vision-as-a-service” (VaaS) business model. Combining computer vision, machine learning, and IoT, ZoomAgri aims to disrupt the current methods for performing TIC functions, which involve a lot of manual labor. 

“In agrifood and commodities, there is a continued rise in demand for quality, safety, and environmental traceability. ZoomAgri is uniquely positioned to help their clients to implement, measure, and monitor their business and ESG commitments,” Ariadne Caballero, partner at SP Ventures, told AFN

“The startup has partnered with the industry to develop a unique library of images and intelligence that allows them to identify quality, varietal, and origin for commodities, bringing immediate transparency to the process,” she added.

In 2018, ZoomAgri launched its first product, ZoomBarley, which determines the purity of malting barley varieties in real-time. The offering is currently available on five continents and serves clients like AB InBev, Boortmalt, Soufflet, InVivo, Malteurop, Estrella Damm, Holland Malt, Malteria Oriental, Avangard Malz, and Ireks.

It also offers ZoomAgriSpex, which helps users determine the physical quality of grains and oilseeds in real-time. Each year, three billion metric tons of grains and oilseeds are produced and moved along the supply chain. ZoomAgriSpex is designed to address common issues around determining the physical quality of the crops including classification errors, delays, subjectivity, fraud, and extremely high cost. 

Being able to better measure quality allows stakeholders in the supply chain to be more efficient when it comes to overall distribution. This helps reduce the industry’s consumption of valuable resources like transport, land, inputs, and water usage. Correctly determining the quality before sending the grain off also helps reduce overall waste. 

The company sends hardware devices to users at zero initial cost and only charges them for the analyses that they perform. Users can either pay for every individual analysis or pay a monthly fee to access unlimited analyses.

ZoomAgri currently serves customers across 18 countries and maintains a database of over 100 million unique images of various grains and oilseeds.

ZoomAgri was recently named as one of the winners of Japfa Feeds the Future, a startup innovation challenge run by Singapore-based agribusiness giant Japfa and impact-focused agrifoodtech accelerator GROW [disclosure: GROW is backed by AFN‘s parent company, AgFunder.]

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