Sensory data company Aromyx announced today that it has raised a $10 million Series A round of funding led by Rabo Food&Ag Innovation Fund and SOZO Ventures, with participation from existing investors Ulu Ventures, Radicle Growth, Capital Energy and Merus Capital.
Aromyx creates sensing technology that digitizes and quantifies information from the human nose and tongue receptors. The company describes its technology on its website like this:
Through our sensor products, human receptors respond to a given odor or flavor sample and then relay information about its quality—such as whether it’s pleasant, contaminated or toxic. Our algorithms measure and quantitatively represent the raw data in the form of digital signatures. These signatures are uploaded into a central scent cloud, which resembles a comprehensive library of the brain’s own smell and taste associations.
Aromyx says it has created the largest database of human receptors, ingredients/chemicals and real-world word descriptions. Companies developing new food and beverages can test their products and ingredients with these electronic receptors to understand how a person would perceive that product. So a new snack chip placed in Aromyx sensory robot (see above) would deliver results like “smokey,” or “buttery,” or “grassy,” and the product makeup could then be adjusted to achieve the desired result.
It may seem easy to equate Aromyx with other digital olfactory startups in the space such as Aryballe and Koniku, each of which make electronic “smelling” devices. But Aromyx is also akin to flavor combination and discovery platforms like Spoonshot, which breaks down flavors and labels food components to help CPG companies figure out novel ingredient combinations for new products. In its press announcement, Aromyx said that it tested more than 100 products for its customers in 2020 and will triple that number in 2021.
Aromyx said that it will use its new funding to increase its capacity and automation capabilities, improve its identification algorithms and hire out its lab and software teams.