BROOKLYN, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Biotech start-up Aanika Biosciences today announced the initial closing of its $12 million Series A round, led by Jon Cholak of Adit Ventures along with existing investors Draper Associates and SOSV. The investment will help scale the company’s food tracing technology platform, advance research and expand its Brooklyn food safety and manufacturing facility to approximately 30,000 square feet.
Aanika's proprietary technology is designed to accelerate the speed and accuracy of how food safety issues are handled. The platform, which uses edible microbial ‘tags,’ has already been tested on leafy greens and has the potential to be applied to other foods and ingredients including oils, coffee, meats and grains.
“Innovation in food safety is long overdue, and there couldn’t be a more important time to bring a technology like this to the market,” said Dr. Ellen Jorgensen, Chief Science Officer for Aanika. “The pandemic has truly exposed the fragility of our supply chain. Being able to expand and build out our capability will give farmers, insurers, food companies and consumers an added layer of transparency and security, as well as minimize the economic and environmental impact of food recalls.”
The technology enables farmers to 'watermark' crops with edible, food-friendly microbes that can be detected at any point in the product’s journey through the supply chain, so that when there is a case of foodborne illness it can be traced directly to the source.
“Foodborne illness impacts over 50 million people and costs the U.S. tens of billions of dollars a year. Our technology can help minimize the impact and we are developing solutions that may prevent it from happening in the first place,” said co-founder and CEO of Aanika, Vishaal Bhuyan. “Identifying the origin of food recalls is just the start of what this platform can do. We are excited to see how far we can push our microbial technology to add value in the form of combating contamination, increasing nutritional content and supporting crop health. We are also exploring how our technology can even revolutionize agricultural insurance underwriting. All of this is driven by the power of biology.”
"We believe Aanika could transform the food system as their traceability technology can integrate with the blockchain and ensure high quality data from end-to-end,” said Tim Draper, Founder and Managing Partner of Draper Associates.
About Aanika Biosciences
Aanika Biosciences was co-founded in 2018 by Vishaal Bhuyan after he personally experienced the consequences of ordering fresh, ethically sourced seeds and receiving stale, contaminated products instead. He made it is his mission to create a safer food supply by finding a way to track, trace and authenticate products. Aanika’s customized microbial-based tags help companies gain valuable insights about their supply chains, help their customers make better consumption choices, and create a more sustainable world.