Allergy Amulet, a company that makes a portable device to detect food allergens, has raised $3.3 million in seed funding, WisconsinInno reported yesterday. The round was led by TitletownTech, with participation from Great North Labs, Colle Capital, Great Oaks VC, DeepWork Capital, Dipalo Ventures and Bulldog Innovation Group. This brings Allergy Amulet’s total funding to $4.8 million.
There are two parts to the Allergy Amulet system: A USB stick-sized reader and the accompanying test strips. Users swab their food with the test strip and insert it into the test strip case. That case is then plugged into the device, which “pairs molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) technology with an electrochemical system to detect target allergenic ingredients” and returns results in under a minute. There is also an optional mobile app to help store and share results (to alert others about allergens at different restaurants, for example).
According to the Allergy Amulet FAQ, “The Amulet can test a wide variety of solid and liquids—from granola bars and cupcakes, to salads and soups.” The company plans to offer tests for peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, eggs, milk, and soy, as well as gluten and sesame.
The company plans to offer a basic and a premium jewelry line of devices that will cost between $150 and $300, depending on the configuration. Test strips will be $3 each, and Allergy Amulet will start taking pre-orders this fall for beta units. An official launch is slated for the fall of 2021.
If Allergy Amulet can fulfill on its promise, it certainly seems like it could give Nima a run for its money. Nima, which is already at market, sells separate portable sensors that can detect either peanuts or gluten for $229, with its testing cartridges costing roughly $6 a piece.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, there are 200,000 emergency room visits a year due to food allergies. Devices like Allergy Amulet and Nima could help reduce those numbers and bring safer eating to everyone.