Clean Crop Technologies' next generation solution for food waste & crop loss lands $2.75M Series Seed investment
Prime Impact Fund led the round with a $1.6 million investment, and was joined by Factor[e] Ventures, Innova Memphis, the Syndicate Fund, and the Alchemy Fund.
Clean Crop Technologies, Inc. closed a $2.75 million seed stage investment to accelerate development of its High Voltage Atmospheric Cold Plasma (HVACP) technology for reduction of food waste and crop loss across the food space. Prime Impact Fund led the round with a $1.6 million investment, and was joined by Factor[e] Ventures, Innova Memphis, the Syndicate Fund, and the Alchemy Fund.
Clean Crop Technologies' co-founders, Dan White and Dan Cavanaugh, have a combined 25+ years of experience working in agricultural supply chains around the world. While working directly with maize and groundnut traders in sub-Saharan Africa they grew frustrated with the lack of solutions for contaminants that prevented smallholder farmers, traders, and graders from realizing the true value of their crops.
On a global scale, mycotoxins, molds and pathogens lead to an estimated 500 million tons of supply chain food waste, and 600 million cases of food borne illness every year. This waste is worth nearly $250 billion, and is responsible for approximately 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This spoilage is more prevalent in regions with less developed agricultural infrastructure and technology, and is a major driver of economic losses around the world.
With a clear problem in focus, White and Cavanaugh conducted a thorough landscape of possible solutions and teamed up with Dr. Kevin Keener, a renowned Professor at the University of Guelph who has led the research into HVACP and ionized air technologies for food safety over the past 20 years.
The company is now building a proprietary ionized air generator that is energy efficient and optimizes treatment effect in the processing environment. Field tests will begin in the US later this year. Clean Crop targets commercial deployments in emerging markets and the U.S starting in 2021. The seed funding is also going towards expanding the technical and product development capacity on the team.
"Prime Impact Fund is extremely proud to call Clean Crop our first agriculture investment. We have been continuously impressed by the team, and are excited by the prospect of scaling their technology, initially in a focused beachhead market and expanding into many categories of high-volume crops. We have conviction that Clean Crop can drastically reduce emissions in one of the largest greenhouse gas wedges, and build a large, self-sustaining business," commented Amy Duffuor, Principal at Prime Impact Fund, and Director on Clean Crop's Board.
"We have been searching for cutting edge food safety and loss reduction technologies for years. In Clean Crop, we've found a technology and a team with the potential to remove food safety-related trade barriers that prevent smallholder farmers from accessing high value global markets. Clean Crop is the perfect example of what we do at Factor[e]: commercialize advanced technologies for the benefit of low-income populations in developing economies. We are excited to help bring this powerful loss reduction technology to our markets," commented Seth Silverman, Principal at Factor[e] Ventures.
"We are excited to be partnering with Prime Impact Fund, Factor[e] Ventures, and the rest of our investors to bring our breakthrough technology to market. This investment will enable us to accelerate R&D, and hone in on the best path to market for our tech. We look forward to leveraging our investors' significant experience and networks in hardware R&D and agricultural markets in this exciting new phase for the company," said Dan White, CEO of Clean Crop.
About Clean Crop Technologies
Clean Crop Technologies is translating groundbreaking research on ways to reduce molds, toxins, and pests into commercial scale services for the global grain and nut sectors. For more information, https://cleancroptech.com/
About Prime Impact Fund
Prime Impact Fund invests in transformative technology companies with the potential for gigaton-scale climate impact. Drawing on catalytic capital with a long-term lens, the fund is purpose-built to support high-risk, high-reward ventures at the earliest stages. For more information, https://www.primeimpactfund.org/
About Factor[e] Ventures
Factor[e] is a global venture development firm dedicated to supporting the growth of early stage, technology-enabled companies solving challenges in energy, agriculture, mobility, and waste in emerging markets. For more information, http://www.factore.com/
About Innova Memphis
The Innova Ag Innovation Fund IV, LP. (Innova Memphis), is a fully licensed USDA Rural Business Investment Corporation investment fund with a laser focus on identifying and investing in those technologies that will impact farmers and processors productivity and profitability. Since the fund's inception in May 2017, Innova Memphis has invested in more than 22 U.S-based early stage AgTech firms ranging from robotics, communication platforms, farm management systems, animal health innovations, food safety technologies and insect protein farming.
About The Syndicate Fund
The Syndicate Fund provides exceptional early stage startups the capital and support needed to build great businesses.
About The Alchemy Fund
The Alchemy Fund helps new ventures between the Boston and NYC tech hubs grow into nationally competitive firms.