PLEASANTON, CA — SafeTraces, Inc., a Bay Area company that is developing ground-breaking food safety solutions, has closed a Series Seed round, raising $1.5 million. The round was led by Maumee Ventures, the VC arm of The Andersons, Inc., a diversified public company rooted in agribusiness.
“We are thrilled to close this round so quickly, even as the funding environment for early start ups is starting to cool,” said Anthony Zografos, Founder and CEO. “We see this as strong validation of an immediate market need for our cutting-edge food safety solutions.” The company intends to use the proceeds from the seed round to accelerate product development, sales, and marketing. SafeTraces plans to go to market with its first food safety solution by the end of 2016.
“Assuring customers of origin, purity, and safety are essential in today’s food industry. SafeTraces’ DNA-based approach is elegant and compelling, because it doesn’t force the food industry to add costly steps to their processes. Their solutions are perfectly timed to help growers, shippers, and manufacturers meet rising consumer expectations and the tougher regulatory environment,” said Elliott Grant, SafeTraces Board Member and CEO of Shopwell Labs.
The SafeTraces on-food safety solutions use SafeTracers – invisible, edible, tasteless DNA barcodes – that are applied directly to the food and not the cardboard. SafeTracers enable producers, processors, and retailers to gain an unprecedented level of food source and safety assurance. The company is currently engaged with several national and global pilot customers that are actively using SafeTracers in production for tracing produce back to its origin, ensuring that raw materials are sustainably sourced, verifying the purity of olive oil and improving the safety of leafy greens and other fresh produce. These customers intend to use SafeTracers to ensure the traceability of their products, reduce foodborne illnesses, minimize food-processing costs, and increase food safety.
SafeTraces’ technology is patent-protected with four issued US patents, two pending US patents applications, and two pending international patent applications. SafeTracers are recognized as GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe) by the FDA.