agritech

agritech

Courtesy of SAVRPak

If there’s one thing that COVID laid bare in modern society, it’s the American propensity for takeout. And if there’s one thing that’s become apparent from our heightened demand for on-demand food, it’s that most food doesn’t travel well.

Soggy French fries and buns can quickly transform a delicious dine-in favorite to a mushy disappointment. Moisture is the bane of food preservation beyond takeout as well: Breaks in the cold chain allows condensation to form on produce, spurring the growth of mold and shortening shelf life for everything from berries to lettuce and tomatoes and costs the food industry trillions every year in food waste.

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Courtesy of CropSafe.

This January, John McElhone moved to Santa Monica from, as he described it, “a tiny farm in the absolute middle of nowhere” in his native Northern Ireland, with the goal of growing the crop-monitoring tech startup he founded.

It looks like McElhone’s big move is beginning to pay off: His company, CropSafe, announced a $3 million seed funding round on Tuesday that will help it develop and scale its remote crop-monitoring capabilities for farmers. Venture firm Elefund led the round and was joined by investors Foundation Capital, Global Founders Capital, V1.VC and Great Oaks Capital, as well as angel investors Cory Levy, Josh Browder and Charlie Songhurst. The capital will go toward growing CropSafe’s six-person engineering team and building up its new U.S. headquarters in Santa Monica.

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