Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]
Today YottaMark announced that it has completed a $24 million dollar Series D round of funding, led by Westbury Partners. The round was participated in by Fairhaven Capital and General Mills Ventures. Several prior investors participated as well.
The fresh $24 million brings YottaMark’s total fundraising to the $53 million mark.
YottaMark’s product, HarvestMark, is a system by which food products are tagged at their factory or packaging point. Those tags are scannable by consumers, linking the start and end of the supply chain. Once scanned, tags on products can provide information to consumers. Any camera-bearing smartphone will do.
The idea is that food shoppers want to know more about what they are consuming – from what farm, when, and so forth. Also, by tagging each item that they ship, producing companies can better track their product. YottaMark’s description of the benefits of HarvestMark are both consumer-facing and business related: “The YottaMark system helps you seamlessly combine marketing efforts with brand security measures.” Simply, HarvestMark tags can be scanned by employees and shoppers alike, allowing the company to granularly track its products and consumers to learn more about them.
The company claims 4,000 farms and 300 brands as its customers.
The rising prevalence of smartphones, more on that here if you are curious, combined with the rise of specialty grocers such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods may have re-trained consumers to care greatly about the provenance of their food: Was this broccoli grown in Mexico, or at a local farm that I could drive to? Just how free range was that chicken’s life? YottaMark could help answer those questions, provided that producers decide to invest in providing the information.
YottaMark plans to use its new capital to “accelerate sales and marketing.” Keep your eyes peeled, this could be coming to a grocer near you.
Top Image Credit: Samantha Marx
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