Allegy Amulet, which makes a portable device to detect food allergens, announced today via press release that it has expanded its Seed round of funding to $4.1 million. This represents an additional $800,000 over the initial $3.3 million announced last August. The new investment comes from Aller Fund and Lightship Capital, and brings the total amount of funding raised by Allergy Amulet to roughly $5.6 million.
As we wrote previously:
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 company plans to offer tests for the eight most common food allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, eggs, milk and soy, as well as gluten and sesame. It aims to launch the peanut and soy tests “towards the end of 2021.”
The Food Allergy and Research and Education (FARE) website reports that “32 million Americans have food allergies, including 5.6 million children under age 18,” and that every year, 200,000 people require emergency medical care because of allergic reactions to food.
Other startups tackling problems associated with food allergies include Nima, which also makes portable sensors to detect peanut and gluten, Further up the chain is Ukko, which is looking to engineer gluten without any of the compounds that trigger allergic reactions.
Allergy Amulet says it will use its funding to speed up manufacturing, expand its allergen detection and grow its team.