Clarifruit raises $12 million to reduce food waste
Clarifruit, an Israeli company developing an automated quality control software platform for the fruit and vegetable supply chain, has raised $12 million to reduce waste in the fruit and vegetable industry.
The $900 billion annual funding round for Clarifruit, led by Champel Capital and Firstime Ventures, also included Kubota, a leading global provider of agricultural machinery and technologies, and NevaTeam Partners venture capital fund. Private investors also participated in the seed round, according to a news release.
Clarifruit was founded in 2018 with the mission of reducing waste in the fresh produce supply chain to secure sufficient food supply for the future. The company’s solution addresses the lack of standardized and objective quality control processes in assessing the quality of fruits and vegetables. Those problems lead to a waste of 45% of the agricultural production in the industry, representing approximately $900 billion yearly losses.
The company’s AI-powered quality control platform consists of two elements: The first is a mobile app allowing quality inspectors to conduct automatic quality control processes. A cloud-based control system allows operation managers to design and manage a monitoring process specific to their company and to view results, according to the requirements of various potential clients, and actionable insights in real time, according to the release.
Clarifruit’s automated QC platform, leveraging proprietary computer-vision technology and Big Data and analytics capabilities, empowers the world’s retailers, wholesalers, marketing companies and growers to make data-driven business decisions to reduce waste and maximize profitability, according to the release.
Customers of Clarifruit include Dole, Mucci Farms, Zespri, SanLucar, and Pink Lady Dole and Zespri. In recent months, Clarifruit has started to work with large global grocery retail chains.
With the conclusion of the current funding round, the total amount that Clarifruit has raised to date is more than $15 million, above the $2.5 million grant from Horizon 2020, an EU program supporting startups developing technology working to make significant social or environmental changes.
“The emerging climate crisis has increased the demand for solutions to conserve food and resources and provide global food security,” said Jonathan Benartzi, a partner with Firstime Ventures. “Clarifruit has developed a technological solution that significantly and directly reduces produce waste and indirectly enables better use of water, soil and fertilizer resources to benefit all parties.”