SomaDetect, a milk quality and dairy data company, has completed its $2M seed funding round with investments from New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, the Western New York Impact Investment Fund, 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 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," 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.”
Founded in New Brunswick Canada in 2016, SomaDetect has designed and produced an inline sensor that, combined with deep learning algorithm and visualization software, 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 NBIF, a longtime 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 in 2017 and receiving $1 million, SomaDetect opened an office in Buffalo from where it has been expanding its team and further developing kits 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.”
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 it continues to develop their technology and help dairy farmers across North America.
“New York Ventures is investing in promising startups throughout the state, including Buffalo-based SomaDetect, creating tech and data solutions designed to support the state’s dairy industry,” said Howard Zemsky, Empire State Development president, CEO and commissioner.