( Courtesy Strella Biotechnology )

Strella Biotechnology, a Philadelphia company that uses biosensors to maximize freshness of fresh produce throughout the supply chain, has received $3.3 million in seed funding.

Investors in the April 30 round were led by Yamaha Motor Ventures & Laboratory Silicon Valley (YMVSV), the investment arm of the Yamaha Motor Co., and Catapult Ventures. Union Labs, “Shark Tank’s” Mark Cuban and Red & Blue Ventures also contributed, according to a YMVSV news release. 

“Yamaha Motor remains keenly interested in teams applying innovative approaches to improving quality and increasing efficiency within the global food supply chain,” Nolan Paul, partner and global ag tech lead for YMVSV, said in a release. “Strella Biotechnology takes on the real-world challenge of food waste in a simple, yet sophisticated, technological approach that is already making a difference in delivering more, higher quality produce to consumers.”

Strella Biotech’s proprietary biosensor technology and “Internet-of-Things capabilities” provides a data-driven approach to ensure quaility through the supply chain, according to the release.

The company is working with produce companies to reduce shrink by “providing dynamic shelf-life predictions,” according to the release.

“This is an incredibly exciting time in the lifecycle of Strella Biotech and to have Yamaha Motor Ventures as a partner to help deliver our food waste solution to the global market is very validating,” Katherine Sizov, CEO of Strella Biotechnology, said in the release. “Gaining access to both funding and expertise from Yamaha will help us scale and evolve our ethylene-sensing IP and we look forward to our path forward together.”

The company plans to use the funding to support its expansion into retail distribution, according to the release, by refining its use on pallets during transportation. The company has monitored nearly 150 million pieces of fruits while in storage. The monitoring allows fruit shippers to predict fruit maturity and schedule shipments to retailers based on those predictions, according to the release.