Back Industry News

Ripe.io And Its 'Blockchain Of Food' Secures 2.4 Million In Funding Posted on Sep 11 - 2018

Share This :

Ripe.io wants to use blockchain technology to transform the food industry, and it just received a major influx of cash to do it. The agri-tech start-up just secured $2.4 million in financing from investors like Maersk Growth, the capital venture arm of the Danish shipping container conglomerate Maersk, and Relish Works, a Chicago-based food innovation hub.

Co-founder and President of Ripe.io Phil Harris has high hopes for this newly secured round of financing: “[it] takes a little company and enables [us to realize all of] our big ambitions.”

Both Harris and his co-founder and CEO Raja Ramachandran came to the food industry from the financial world — Harris from Nasdaq and Ramachandram from an industry consortium called R3CEV — before coming together to form Ripe Technology, Inc. or, as it’s come to be known, Ripe.io.

“One of the things we saw early on was that blockchain could [be applied] beyond [the] financial [industry],” says Ramachandran of the company’s early beginnings.

The two decided on food because they saw an industry plagued by a number of problems, including “food fraud, food safety, [how to determine] what constitutes quality, and even things like spoilage management.” Plus, food, of course, is personal. Explains Ramachandran, “[it gave us the opportunity] to look at something that affects us daily, not only ourselves, [but] our families [and] our communities.”

Blockchain technology isn’t new. Created in 2008 by the pseudonymous inventor of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, blockchain technology served (and still serves) as an immutable digital ledger for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. It works by verifying transactions through a consensus of computer systems. Blockchain is the underlying technology that makes Bitcoin a “trustless” and transparent cryptocurrency network.

Savvy observers soon realized that blockchain could be used in all sorts of different industries, including finance, real estate and, it turns out, the food industry. One of Ripe.io’s first forays into food was with the Internet of Tomatoes, a collaborative project of Analog Devices Inc. and the fast casual salad franchise Sweetgreen Inc.

With the Internet of Tomatoes, Ripe.io set out to use blockchain technology to compile a wealth of data from the farm and apply it to growing a better tomato. Using farmers and sensor machines, the project collected information on everything from temperature to humidity, down to the chemistry reading of a tomato. View More

x

Get the Global Big Data Conference
Newsletter.

Weekly insight from industry insiders.
Plus exclusive content and offers.