Ag Capital Canada Leads SomaDetect $6M Series A funding, to Accelerate Development
of AI Technology for the Dairy Industry
March 3, 2021
SomaDetect Inc. and Ag Capital Canada (ACC) announced today that $6M venture capital financing will be used to accelerate commercialization of the dairy industry’s only in-line sensor for milk quality,
reproductive status and herd health.
The financing is led by Ag Capital Canada (ACC), a private equity fund based in Tillsonburg, Ontario.
Additional new investment is being provided by Merck Animal Health Ventures, as well as by Builders VC and Wilbur Ellis’ Cavallo Ventures.
SomaDetect CEO and co-founder Bethany Deshpande describes the company’s system as Deep Tech for Dairy: “We use light-scattering technology and powerful AI algorithms to discern and monitor critical dairy metrics such as somatic cell count, mastitis, reproductive status, fat, protein and other milk-quality elements. The system provides progressive dairy farms with the information they need to support better decisions, higher-quality milk and healthier herds.
This new investment will help bring the benefits of SomaDetect’s technology to more farmers in Canada and the US. We are passionate about helping farmers make critical dairy herd decisions, while saving money and time. No other platform can measure all the parameters herd managers care about with such frequency.”
Summitholm Dairy, one of Ontario’s top-managed herds, has been an early partner in developing
SomaDetect technology. Farm owner/manager Ben Loewith explains why SomaDetect’s technology is unique: “It won’t rely on animal behaviour changes to pick up on the key things we’re looking for, such as pregnancy or pregnancy loss. The technology will detect these through changes in the milk.”
Ag Capital Canada managing general partner John Lansink noted SomaDetect’s potential to transform the dairy industry: “Having had experience managing reproduction in livestock, I can see major benefits in this technology and its pregnancy algorithms. The services SomaDetect has to offer will be game-changers.”
Stephen Murray, B.V.Sc., executive director, Merck Animal Health Ventures, added: “Merck Animal Health is a leader in the animal health industry, focused on innovation and consistently delivering
superior technology and products to our customers. We constantly look for partnerships and technology investment opportunities in breakthrough innovations to help, improve or enhance animal health
management and health outcomes, including dairy technology. We’re excited to see the potential
impact that SomaDetect’s technology will have over time, and on a global scale.”
Ag Capital Canada and Merck’s Animal Health Ventures are joining earlier investors who have supported the company, including Dairy Farmers of America. Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) granted CAD$4M to SomaDetect in January 2020, which has supported earlier stages of development for the company’s technology and will provide ongoing support to set up installations in Canada and the US and demonstrate greenhouse gas benefits within dairy operations.
SomaDetect is a precision dairy technology company. Founded in Fredericton, New Brunswick in 2016, SomaDetect has designed and produced an in-line sensor which measures critical indicators of dairy
quality from every cow at every milking. SomaDetect’s technology uses no consumables, chemicals, or cartridges and no milk is lost. The company welcomes early adopter farms and is actively recruiting for multiple roles within their team. For more information, visit www.somadetect.com.
About Ag Capital Canada
Ag Capital Canada (ACC) is a new private equity fund which invests in Canadian ag and food innovation and small business growth. ACC aims to discover, develop and nurture Canadian agricultural businesses through capital investment, business-management mentorship and entrepreneurial expertise. For more information on ACC, visit www.agcapitalcanada.com.
About Merck Animal Health
For 130 years, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been investing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. Merck Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals®, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments a wide range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines, health-management solutions and services, as well as an extensive suite of digitally connected identification, traceability and monitoring products. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals and the people who care for them. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit www.merck-animal-health.com or connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter at @MerckAH.
Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) helps Canadian companies develop and deploy competitive, clean technology solutions, to help solve some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges: climate change, clean air, clean water and clean soil. By taking a cross-Canada approach, from seed to scale, and in partnership with the best peers and experts, SDTC is the global benchmark for
sustainable development innovation programming.
SomaDetect Ag Capital Canada