SomaDetect closes $2m seed funding and plans expansion

By Beth Newhart

- Last updated on GMT

SomaDetect's software is able to measure critical indicators of quality and health from cows at every milking.
SomaDetect's software is able to measure critical indicators of quality and health from cows at every milking.

Related tags Funding Investment AI Artificial intelligence Milk

After competing in the 2018 Sprint Accelerator and winning last fall’s Foodbytes! competition in NYC, SomaDetect is cementing its future with significant funding.

SomaDetect is an artificial intelligence (AI) dairy company that provides automated analyses of milk quality and herd health in real time without using any chemicals or consumables. Since 2016, they have operated out of offices in Fredericton, NB, Buffalo, NY and Thorold, ON.

This week the company announced the closing of its $2m seed investment round and plans to expand its data collection efforts. New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, the Western New York Impact Investment Fund and New York Ventures have all recently invested.

Following last year’s Foodbytes! win, SomaDetect nabbed other seed investments from the Dairy Farmers of America, Cavallo Ventures, Builders VC and iGan Partners.

Bethany Deshpande, CEO of SomaDetect, said, “We are incredibly excited and honored 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.

“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.”

SomaDetect says it uses light scattering technology to analyze milk. Without chemicals, the milk is not contaminated and can be returned to the milking line without waste, saving on operation costs.

The software is able to measure critical indicators of quality and health from cows at every milking, including fat, protein, somatic cell counts and progesterone.

At the time of the Foodbytes! win, David Darr, president of farm services at DFA, said, “This is a potentially game-changing technology for our farmers and the industry as it allows dairy farmers to know the health of each cow and quality of milk in real time. With access to better data, our farmers can make more knowledgeable decisions, which is a huge value.”

Thomas Bird, NBIF Investment Associate, said, “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.”

“They continue to grow with a strong presence in Fredericton. They have a great team and a great product with interesting patented technology.”

SomaDetect launched a prototype version of its sensor in 2018, and it’s currently installed in 12 pilot farms in Ontario, New York State, and Atlantic Canada, helping the company to collect data and build algorithms.

Thomas P. Quinn, CEO of WNYIIF, said, “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.”

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