Food supply chain tech startup Strella Biotechnology raises US$3.3m

USA – Strella Biotechnology, a Philadelphia-based early stage food supply chain technology company, has raised US$3.3 million seed funding led by Yamaha Motors Ventures & Laboratory Silicon Valley (YMVSV), the strategic business development and investment arm of Yamaha Motor Co.

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.

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Leveraging the US$100 million Yamaha Motor Exploratory Fund, the Strella Biotech investment is the latest in YMVSV’s portfolio of ag tech enterprises focused on technological solutions to food supply chain challenges.

“Yamaha Motor remains keenly interested in teams applying innovative approaches to improving quality and increasing efficiency within the global food supply chain,” said Nolan Paul, Partner and Global Ag Tech Lead for YMVSV.

“Strella Biotechnology takes on the real-world challenge of food waste in a simple, yet sophisticated, technological approach that is already making a difference in delivering more, higher quality produce to consumers.”

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 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.

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“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,” said Katherine Sizov, CEO of Strella Biotechnology.

“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.”

Taking on the challenge of US$1 trillion in global food waste, 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 says that it is working to help produce companies increase their margins, decrease shrink by providing dynamic shelf life predictions, support lower carbon emissions from the fresh produce industry and increasing sustainability for a healthier planet.

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