Fredericton-based agritech firm SomaDetect uses innovative in-line sensor technology to help dairy farmers improve milk quality and the health of their herds.

Co-Founder and CEO Bethany Deshpande explained the company’s origin in a previous feature back in 2017, and you can read that piece here. Since then, SomaDetect has continued to grow, making news earlier this month with a new round of funding.

Ag Capital Canada, Merck Animal Health Ventures, Builders VC, and Wilber Ellis’ Cavallo Venture will contribute $6 million in capital towards the commercialization of SomaDetect’s sensor offering.

ONB spoke to Jimy Beltran, SomaDetect Operations Analyst to learn more.

ONB: What does this new round of funding mean for the company?

Beltran: This is the largest fundraise the company has seen thus far so it’s very exciting for us. This is about expansion and being able to help us commercialize our sensors across North America. We are extremely grateful for the investors that have believed in us and invested in us to this point. It’s a great growth stage moment for the company. We have sensors covering almost 7,000 cows today and the coming months will see us work with more new farms to test our next generation of sensors. This is really going to help us hit that next level.

What does the company see as advantages of running an agritech company from New Brunswick?

New Brunswick provides a great environment for a growing company like ours. The biggest advantage is the community. There’s a lot of support for companies like SomaDetect both in the public sector and in the entrepreneurial space. It’s just a very supportive ecosystem we’ve created for tech startups looking to raise capital and build their brand. The financial support is there as well through groups like ACOA and ONB. ONB has also helped us showcase our product in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere. These opportunities are essential, and that type of support has been critical in getting us to this point.

All of this combines to make New Brunswick a fine place to launch a business like ours from, not just in agritech, but other interesting spaces like cybersecurity.

It is remarkable what’s possible in Atlantic Canada and we need more people to realize that. SomaDetect began in our CEO Bethany’s apartment, and now we’re announcing $6 million in funding. It’s a journey that has needed support along the way and thankfully we’ve received it. Plenty of people believe in our mission here and have been willing to roll up their sleeves to help whenever we needed it.

What’s next for SomaDetect?

We are certainly in growth mode. We are recruiting now and looking forward to new partnerships with more large farms across North America so we can test our new commercial model. It’s about delivering on our ‘farmers first’ mission by helping them improve their output with great technology. SomaDetect offers a significant innovation within the dairy industry and we’re excited to have the capital to bring it to more of the world.

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New Brunswick recognizes that agritech is critical to our ability to modernize our agricultural sector, one of our largest traditional industries. Learn more on our agritech page.