Hazel Technologies Inc., a USDA-supported agricultural technology company delivering new solutions to combat food waste, has closed $13 million in Series B funding, bringing the company's cumulative total raised to $17.8 million. The Series B round was led by Pangaea Ventures and S2G Ventures. The oversubscribed Series B round also attracted new investors The Grantham Foundation and Asahi Kasei Ventures, who join returning investors Rhapsody Venture Partners, Serra Ventures, Valley Oak Investments, Climate Impact Capital, ImpactAssets and others.
Hazel Technologies intends to use its funding to continue the growth of its main product line and launch new technologies. The Chicago-based company will also seek to add new talent to its workforce. The average age of Hazel employees is 31 and over 60% of the company is female.
"Hazel has a deep understanding of their customers that we rarely see in a start-up company,” Pangaea Ventures General Partner Keith Gillard said in a statement. “Their drop-in solution for a broad set of supply chain applications will allow Hazel to be a true change maker in food waste reduction across the supply chain."
Founded in 2015, Hazel's core technologies revolve around the release of active, shelf-life enhancing vapor from packaging inserts called sachets. The sachets are placed in boxes of bulk produce by growers at the time of harvest, extending the shelf-life of produce up to three times by slowing aging in produce and preventing fungus or decay.
Reducing spoilage during shipment is expected to allow Hazel's customers to reap larger profits for existing shipments, as well as open access to entirely new geographic markets. Hazel has signed deals and endorsements from a number of produce companies including Mission Avocado, the world's largest packer, shipper and exporter of fresh avocados, and Frieda's Inc., one of the world's biggest purveyors of specialty produce.
"This new financing brings in resources, both financial and strategic, that will grow Hazel from its current early commercial stage to become a profitable, world-leading provider of shelf life extension products," Hazel Technologies CEO Aidan Mouat said in a statement. "We've delivered a solution that works both economically and environmentally, increasing efficiencies across the entire supply chain, and now we are able to roll these out to address food spoilage in multi-billion dollar markets internationally."
Since 2017, Hazel Technologies has completed over 100 pilot trials for products ranging from melons, to okra, apricots, avocados, cherries and more. The company's patent-pending technologies have been studied and tested by many of the country's top academic research programs including UC Davis and Cornell University.