Strella Biotechnology, a Philadelphia-based agricultural biotech startup, Penn ICorps graduate, and President’s Innovation Prize (PIP) winner, recently raised $8 million in a Series A funding round, led by Millennium New Horizons.
The equity financing also included participation from Google Ventures and Rich Products Ventures. “Shark Tank” celebrity and entrepreneur Mark Cuban, an early investor in Strella, and previous investors Yamaha Motor Ventures, Catapult Ventures, and Union Labs took part as well.
Strella, founded and led by Katherine Sizov, plans to use the funds to support its national grocery chain expansion by employing novel IoT biosensors and real-time data streaming to measure the ripeness of fruit produce. By monitoring freshness from harvest to the grocery store shelf, Strella aims to help solve the food waste problem and improve produce quality.
The now four-year old company has expanded since its early days at Penn. Last year, Strella moved from Pennovation Works to a larger space at Pennovation Lab in West Philadelphia. They recently established an additional office in Seattle to better support the apple-growing industry, while their research and development team continues to be based in Philadelphia.
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