Agtech provider SomaDetect raises $2.6 mln in seed financing


Photo courtesy of SomaDetect

Fredericton-based agricultural technology company SomaDetect has closed a seed-stage financing, raising about $2.6 million (US$2 million).

New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, the Western New York Impact Investment Fund and New York Ventures invested in the round.

SomaDetect previously secured seed funding from Builders VC, Cavallo Ventures, Dairy Farmers of America and iGan Partners.

Founded in 2016 by CEO Bethany Deshpande, SomaDetect has created an in-line sensor that, combined with algorithm and visualization software, measures critical indicators of dairy quality and health from cows at milking.

The company will use the financing’s proceeds to expand its collection of data points from farms across North America.

PRESS RELEASE

SomaDetect’s Sensor and AI Technology raises USD $2 million in Seed Investment, and plans data collection expansion in N. America

August 12th, 2019

Fredericton, NB. SomaDetect, a milk quality and dairy data company, have completed their USD$2M seed funding round with investments from New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF), the Western New York Impact Investment Fund (WNYIIF), and New York Ventures. The investment follows previous Seed Investments from Cavallo Ventures, Dairy Farmers of America, Builders VC, and iGan Partners.

“We are incredibly excited and honoured to receive this investment from WNYIIF, NBIF, New York Ventures and all of our investors. Our company is growing and advancing thanks to their support, and strong support from the dairy industry,” said Bethany Deshpande, CEO of SomaDetect.

“Their investment will help build and grow our company as we expand to collect thousands of data points from farms in North America. It will help us build algorithms that matter for dairy farmers,” said Deshpande.

Founded in New Brunswick Canada in 2016, SomaDetect has designed and produced an in-line sensor that combined with deep learning algorithm and visualization software it measures critical indicators of quality and health (fat, protein, somatic cell counts, and progesterone) from every cow at every milking.

SomaDetect is working with dairy farmers and industry partners across North America to enhance the sensor technology and build deep learning algorithms to provide dairy farmers with actionable data to help manage their operations, including several aspects of milk quality and herd health.

For the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF), a long-time partner of SomaDetect, the company’s ability to attract private capital is a sign of continuous growth.

“SomaDetect is a local success story. The fact that they’ve attracted attention plus investment from American venture capitalists are both indicators of continued growth”, said Thomas Bird, NBIF Investment Associate.

“They were a runner up in our BreakThru competition in 2017, so seeing their continued success is a win for us. Starting out in a small business plan competition and evolving into a successful company where their trajectory continues to grow is very impressive.” Bird said. “They continue to grow with a strong presence in Fredericton. They have a great team and a great product with interesting patented technology. Their growth is compelling, and we continue to have a lot of confidence in the company.”

After winning the 43North competition in Buffalo, NY in 2017 and receiving USD 1 million, SomaDetect opened an office in Buffalo from where they have been expanding their team and further developing their technology.

“The Western New York Impact Investment Fund is pleased to announce our partnership with SomaDetect, a truly innovative company that has the potential to revolutionize the dairy farming industry in our region and beyond.” said Thomas P. Quinn, Chief Executive Officer of WNYIIF.

“For generations, dairy farming has been an important and integral business in all eight counties of Western New York and our dairy farmers have been struggling. SomaDetect’s ground-breaking technology can provide dairy farmers with crucial data to increase productivity for the benefit of farmers today and for years to come,” Quinn added.

Since 2016, SomaDetect has grown to 25 employees. Last year, the company launched its first sensor prototype version which has been installed in 12 pilot farms in Ontario, New York State, and Atlantic Canada with the goal of collecting data and building algorithms.

New York Ventures also jumped to support SomaDetect as they continue to develop their technology and help dairy farmers across North America.

“New York Ventures is investing in promising start-ups throughout the state, including Buffalo-based SomaDetect, creating tech and data solutions designed to support the state’s dairy industry,” said Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky.

About SomaDetect:
SomaDetect is a milk quality and dairy data company with offices in Fredericton, NB, Buffalo, NY and Thorold, ON. Founded in Fredericton, New Brunswick in 2016, SomaDetect has designed and produced an in-line sensor that measures critical indicators of dairy-quality (fat, protein, somatic cell counts, progesterone, and antibiotics) from every cow at every milking. Their technology uses no consumables, chemicals, or cartridges, and with no lost milk.

About the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation:
The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation is an independent corporation that specializes in differentiated applied research and venture capital investment. They support growth in their province as engaged investors who deliver the resources and expertise required to the brightest entrepreneurs and applied researchers as they take their ideas to the global market. For more information, visit https://nbif.ca/en/

About New York Ventures:
New York Ventures is the venture capital investment arm of Empire State Development, New York State’s chief economic development agency. New York Ventures meets the critical capital needs of the state’s innovation economy by providing funding to high-growth start-ups as they move from concept to commercialization, through early growth and expansion. More information is available here.

About the Western New York Impact Investment Fund
The Western New York Impact Investment Fund launched in August 2017 as an innovative for-profit investment fund comprised of corporate, private and philanthropic investors. The investors have committed to providing a new source of funding for socially responsible businesses and organizations located in the eight counties of Western New York while seeking a market rate return on their investment. For more information, visit http://www.wnyimpact.com.

Contact: Jimy Beltran
Operations Analyst
SomaDetect
506-259-2801
media@somadetect.com