The New Brunswick, Canada, based artificial intelligence dairy startup has scored funding over the last few years from the Dairy Farmers of America, New York Ventures and Sustainable Development Technology Canada.
Now SomaDetect is furthering its partnerships in a deal with VAS, a major global provider of dairy management software. VAS’s Software API will be integrated into SomaDetect’s system.
A new era of data
This collaboration will synchronize SomaDetect’s software with any milking equipment using VAS’ dairy herd management software, DairyComp. SomaDetect said farmers using DairyComp will now be able to also use SomaDetect’s tech without having to replace their existing cow identification system.
Bethany Deshpande, CEO of SomaDetect, said, “We are excited about this integration with VAS, and the support they have shown towards the advancement of our technology. We feel incredibly fortunate to be working with VAS and supporting leading-edge changes in this industry.
“We are supporting dairy as it moves into a new era of data generation, management, integration, collaboration, and insight development that will improve efficiencies and increase profitability for producers.”
Kevin Callihan, VP of engineering and product at VAS, said, “VAS is dedicated to being a collaborator in the industry and working closely with fellow innovators. We are excited to launch our integration with SomaDetect and help our dairies bring more insight to their operations by pairing important animal information with data from every cow at every milking session.”
“We are proud to continually be part of the modernization of the dairy industry and learn how to help our customers improve their operations.”
A cleantech Canadian solution
SomaDetect said it’s currently working on building commercial algorithms to provide data on somatic cell counts and pregnancy status. It will then increase data offerings to enable farmers to identify disease, eliminate contamination, manage reproduction, and increase milk quality.
The startup’s light scattering technology is able to determine critical herd management, cow health, reproductive and milk quality data per cow and per milking. By eliminating the use of chemicals and consumables, farmers don’t have to waste milk for testing, cutting down on operation costs.
“Most dairy farmers do not currently receive data on the milk that they produce with the frequency they need. At most, they receive lab results from milk collected from individual cows once a month, or rely on manual veterinary checks, forcing many farmers to rely on averaged measurements from milk collection tanks and observational guesswork to make critical management decisions,” SomaDetect said.
Last month, SomaDetect received a CAD $3.9m (US$2.9m) investment from Sustainable Development Technology Canada, in order to pilot its in-line sensor technology across North America.
They called it a ‘cleantech’ solution that will help reduce Canada’s environmental impact and also support Canadian entrepreneurs in getting their clean technologies to global markets.
In fall 2018, SomaDetect won a FoodBytes! pitch competition in New York City, which earned it funding from the Dairy Farmers of America. And in summer 2019, SomaDetect closed its $2m seed investment round.
The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, the Western New York Impact Investment Fund, New York Ventures, Cavallo Ventures, Builders VC and iGan Partners have all invested in SomaDetect’s technology recently.