Clear Labs, the only automated and intelligent NGS platform purpose-built for food safety testing, has announced the close of $21M in funding. The Series B2 was led by Menlo Ventures, with participation from Wing VC, Dentsu Ventures, Felicis, and Khosla, along with a number of food production companies.
This round brings Clear Labs' total funding to $45M. The funding will be used to ramp up its commercial operations and build new features for Clear Safety, the company's flagship product for food safety testing. Currently, the platform supports high-volume testing for Salmonella, with the expectation to add support for additional pathogens and software features in 2019.
During an initial pilot program, Clear Labs enrolled companies constituting 90% of the U.S. poultry market, 85% of the pet food market, and 50% of the U.S.'s third-party service labs. The company is currently conducting customer evaluations in preparation for general availability.
"This round of funding was raised on the premise that what the industry needs is perfectly aligned with our product vision," said Sasan Amini, CEO of Clear Labs. "Food manufacturers and microbiology labs alike recognize that targeted NGS technology will not just fill the gaps left by legacy pathogen testing technologies like PCR, but propel the entire industry towards a failsafe food system. Clear Labs is the only viable NGS-based option for the food safety industry. This round of funding will help us fulfill all of our customers' needs and prepare for mass commercialization."
Clear Safety combines state-of-the-art NGS sequencing, advanced microbiology, robotic automation, data science, and software analytics to significantly lower costs while achieving 99.9% accuracy.
The new platform collects hundreds of millions of data points per analysis that can be used to learn everything about a pathogen in a single test. This data also serves as the foundation for new applications from predictive risk assessment to nutrigenomics to new product development.
Since its founding in 2014, the company has built the world's largest food genomics database, which is comprised of millions of entries. This richness of information generated from a single sequencing run serves as a gateway to a wealth of knowledge that food manufacturers and microbiology labs can act on for improved profitability, productivity, and predictability.
"Clear Labs aims to improve the safety of the food we all eat every day," said Greg Yap, partner at Menlo Ventures. "Their unique platform leverages advanced sequencing technology and data science to provide better pathogen testing solutions, reduce disease outbreaks, and unlock additional opportunities to improve sustainability, agriculture, and nutrition. We are excited to invest in a company that is applying genomic technologies to transform important markets."
The Clear Safety platform is comprised of the most advanced NGS technology, robust bioinformatics, and the world's largest molecular database. In addition to Clear Safety, Clear Labs platform supports testing for authenticity, GMO, and microbiome testing.
Clear Labs has over 40 customers globally, including many of the leading food brands and service labs around the world.
To learn more about Clear Labs, please visit: http://www.clearlabs.com/.