Clarifruit, an Israel-based company developing a software platform for automated quality control for the fruit and vegetable supply chain, completed an approximately $12 million Series A funding round led by Champel Capital and Firstime Ventures.
Additional participants in the round include Kubota, a leading global provider of agricultural machinery and technologies, and NevaTeam Partners venture capital fund. Private investors also participated in the seed round. With the conclusion of the current funding round, the total amount that Clarifruit has raised to date is over $15M, on top of the grant of $2.5M that was received through Horizon 2020, an EU program to support startups developing breakthrough technology that has the potential to make a significant social or environmental impact.
Clarifruit was founded in 2018 by Avi Schwartzer, who currently serves as the COO and previously served as a senior R&D director at HP, Ruby Boyarski, CTO, and previously served as a VP of R&D for Infomedia; and Elad Mardix, who is the CEO of Clarifruit and previously ran JPMorgan’s technology investment banking activities in APAC and the U.S.
Avi Schwartzer, who managed the world’s leading QA automation product for software at HP, has a family background in agriculture that led him to the idea of combining his expertise in quality assurance in the software world with the world of agriculture.
“Since we launched our product 20 months ago, we have been able to make a significant impact and onboard tens of leading global players into our circle of clients that are now using Clarifruit’s advanced technology to automate their quality control and provide real-time info to reduce waste and maximize revenue opportunities,” said Elad Mardix, Co-Founder and CEO of Clarifruit.
He continued, “The market potential is almost infinite because all players in the industry, from the world’s largest retail chains to farmers, currently use manual and outdated quality control methods with limited data to base their decision-making. We plan to build a company that will become a global leader and revolutionizes how the industry makes decisions. This will significantly improve the productivity of the supply chain and the profitability of all players, as well as contribute to a decrease in the price of fruit and vegetables worldwide.”
Clarifruit currently employs 25 people globally. Following the current funding round, Clarifruit plans to meaningfully scale its sales activity globally with local offices across North America, Latin America, and Europe and hire a significant number of employees in R&D to further its industry-leading AI offerings to the market.
“The emerging climate crisis has increased the demand for solutions to conserve food and resources and provide global food security,” said Jonathan Benartzi, Partner, Firstime Ventures. “Clarifruit has developed a technological solution that significantly and directly reduces produce waste and indirectly enables better use of water, soil, and fertilizer resources to benefit all parties. Clarifruit’s amazing team has succeeded in creating an economical, simple solution that embodies sustainable and environmental values in an outstanding way. We are happy and proud to partner with Clarifruit.”
“We are proud to sponsor the excellent team at Clarifruit, a company that offers an outstanding technological solution for an industry with a turnover of more than two trillion dollars a year,” said Amir Weitmann, Managing Partner at Champel Capital. “It’s an industry that, due to manual QC processes, suffers from depreciation levels that are unacceptable in the world we live in. It’s not by chance that the company achieved significant milestones at such an early stage, and we are excited about what the future has in store. As an impact fund, we see the ability to dramatically reduce waste as a noble cause with a significant environmental impact.”
Clarifruit was established with the mission of reducing waste in the $2 trillion fresh produce supply chain to secure sufficient food supply for future generations. The company’s solution addresses a key challenge in quality control and decision-making—the lack of standardized and objective quality control processes in assessing the quality of fruits and vegetables. These problems lead to a waste of 45% of the agricultural production in the industry, representing approximately $900B of loss every year.
Clarifruit’s AI-powered quality control platform consists of two elements. The first is a mobile app installed on any smartphone that allows quality inspectors to conduct automatic quality control processes in a matter of minutes. The second is a cloud-based control system that allows operation managers to design and manage a monitoring process specific to their company and to view results according to the requirements of various potential clients and actionable insights in real-time.
Clarifruit’s automated QC platform, leveraging proprietary computer-vision technology and Big Data & analytics capabilities, empowers the world’s retailers, wholesalers, marketing companies, and growers to make data-driven business decisions to reduce waste and maximize profitability.
Clarifruit’s customers include tens of the leading global marketers, including Dole, Mucci Farms, Zespri, SanLucar, and Pink Lady. In recent months, Clarifruit has started to work with some of the largest global grocery retail chains.