News: ripelocker raised $7.5 million to fund fresh, a food technology start-up, to increase production, upgrade the system and continue efficacy trials. The company, headquartered in Bainbridge Island, Washington, sells containers for holding recently harvested agricultural products and flowers.
Father son team: the company was jointly founded by George lobisser and son Kyle lobissers. The former co owned and led pace international, a food preservation technology company. The latter was an equipment engineer who helped create storage containers, but was not a current employee. Lipelok currently has 13 full-time employees.
The equipment: the patented ripeloker container is about the size of a tray. It manages its atmospheric pressure and gas composition to maintain the shelf life of the products or flowers in the container. Technicians of the system can also report and respond to changes in the external environment by adjusting the attenuation reduction.
Customer: this start-up announced in June that it had reached its first purchase agreement with the Queen’s flowers, a flower importer and grower based in Colombia and Ecuador. The company has a wholesale and distribution warehouse in the United States. The company said that the ripelocker container extended the shelf life of roses by two to four weeks. It also works with fruit company sorbatto fresh and oasis farm Co., Ltd. The start-up says it has built 400 containers so far. The company added that it was generating revenue, but did not say whether it was profitable.
Status of food technology start-ups: the funding source of ripelocker comes at a time when venture capital in the food technology industry is declining. According to a report of pitchbook, in the second quarter of 2022, such start-ups raised only US $5.6 billion in 275 global transactions, a year-on-year decrease of 21.5%.
The report said that despite the downward trend of prices, inflationary pressure and continued supply chain chaos may bring favorable winds to companies that can minimize the cost of delivery and service. Lipelok faces a group of start-ups that want to take advantage of this trend.
Funder: lipelok said that the funds came from angel investors, including customers, farmers and packers, agricultural industry executives and scholars. So far, the company has raised US $21 million and said it plans to raise “larger” round a financing in the autumn. It did not disclose the current valuation.