Predictive quality and yield solution provider Seebo announced today that it has extended its Series B financing round to a total of US$24m. The funding, which was lead by Vertex Ventures, will be used to further expand Seebo’s global reach.
“Seebo works mainly in the EU, North America and Australia. We are deepening our reach in those markets,” Liran Akavia, COO and Co-Founder of Seebo, told FoodNavigator.
The company already counts the likes of Nestle, PepsiCo, General Mills, Mondelez and Barilla among its customer base.
AI and ‘deep’ manufacturing expertise
Seebo leverages artificial intelligence to identify process-driven inefficiencies in the production process to predict and prevent losses.
The company combines its AI algorithms with ‘deep process manufacturing expertise’ that allows the company to ‘understand each individual production process’.
“We use various data points such as process data, raw materials, quality and other data sources. As an example, we also take into account the weather around the plant. We are using existing data from the plant and manufacturing floor such as… ERP, quality control systems and more,” Akavia explained.
The food tech entrepreneur noted that there are ‘common bottlenecks’ where food waste frequently occurs.
“We see ‘typical’ waste losses that are derived from process inefficiencies such as net weight overweight, size and shape variability, quality variables (i.e. moisture) and colour inconsistencies. We see these common bottlenecks in most places.”
Waste reduction of 25-75%
Addressing these losses equates to big savings, Akavia revealed. “It varies from customer to customer. We are seeing results ranging from 25% to 70% waste savings. This translates to millions of dollars in savings,” he told this publication.
The result is a fast return on investment cycle. “When working with our customers it is very important to have a full return within a year. We are happy to disclose that many of our customers save millions of dollars by using Seebo to predict and prevent waste losses.”
Coping with COVID and fighting food waste
The solution resonates with evolving food sector priorities, the company claimed, as many food manufacturers face an increasingly challenging and competitive marketplace in the year of COVID-19. Among those challenges is the more urgent need to increase efficiency, specifically by lowering production losses; and, in some cases, to meet unprecedented spikes in demand due to changing consumer behaviour.
The Seebo solution has provided these food manufacturers with the ability to achieve these goals in a highly scalable way - without costly investments in new production lines and facilities, Seebo suggested.
The AI also feeds into growing industry efforts to reduce food waste. “Many of our food manufacturing customers have a primary goal of waste reduction and that’s why they identify Seebo as a very relevant solution to solve it,” the start-up's COO noted.
Seebo is experiencing ‘exponential growth’, with sales up 400% year-on-year. This is being driven by extending its relationship with new and existing customers.
“During the last year we have not only brought on new clients, but also have had existing customers expand to additional manufacturing lines with us, which demonstrates how meaningful Seebo is to their manufacturing process.”