CertusBio has secured a $4.6m investment to accelerate plans for growth in New Zealand and globally. The Christchurch-based company offers biosensor technology to food producers that improves production efficiencies and reduces the cost of treating wastewater.
CertusBio CEO, Matthew Jones said the investment, which was led by Pacific Channel, provides the company a significant opportunity to expand into North America.
Other investors include Lincoln Agritech, the original founders of the technology, the Impact Enterprise Fund - New Zealand’s first domestically focused impact investment fund, NZ Growth Capital Partners through their Aspire NZ Seed Fund and a group of existing investors.
“This is a very exciting time for CertusBio,” said Dr Jones. “Our plans include appointing a US based executive to establish a presence and drive global sales of the patented technology. We’ve been working for two years to secure a partnership with US based process technology company Relco and will start a trial integration of our automated system into theValley Queen Cheese plant, South Dakota with support from Relco.
The ‘lab on a chip’ technology we’ve developed continuously monitors production losses during processing which means adjustments can be made in real-time, at the source to improve plant efficiency and increase commercial returns to the company.
“The other significant benefit of the technology is to our environment. Commercial food processing facilities, such as dairy, beer and wine, fruit and vegetables, that use water during processing typically lose at least 5% of their product. This is not only inefficient and costly to the company, but these losses often end up in our rivers and landfills and, if they’re not managed properly, can be extremely harmful to our environment.
“Our aim is to turn good food producers into great food processors so they can reach their full potential – for people and the planet. Through the use of real-time monitoring, we have been working with customers to identify the source of losses and generate efficiency gains and additional environmental benefits.
“We’ve recently completed a New Zealand based operational trial at a Fonterra. This successfully demonstrated the system reliably monitors and detects lactose losses in a commercial processing environment and has been instrumental in our global expansion plans,” said Dr Jones.
Pacific Channel partner Kieran Jina said, “The team at CertusBio have demonstrated they have a strong ability to increase sustainability and achieve significant improvements in food processing.
“Our investment recognises the full productization achieved by CertusBio and the scalability of the technology across a range of other process industries including chemical, oil & gas, mining, pulp & paper, and wastewater treatment. We’re thrilled to be investing in this breakthrough technology and be part of CertusBio’s global expansion.”