Intello Labs, which uses a combination of computer vision and artificial intelligence to grade food quality along the supply chain, announced today that it has raised a $5.9 million Series A. Saama Capital led the round with participation from global agritech funds GROW (Singapore) and SVG Ventures THRIVE (USA), and existing investors Omnivore and Nexus Venture Partners. This brings the total amount raised by Intello to $8.3 million.
Based in Gurgaon, India, Intello Labs offers a suite of computer vision products and cloud-based AI that can be used by farmers, food packers, exporters and retailers to assess the quality of fruits and vegetables. The goal is to bring transparency and objectivity to the food buying and selling business and establish fair prices throughout the supply chain. By having AI judge food grades, you eliminate haggling between biased people over what a particular bushel of apples is worth, for example.
When we first wrote about the company in 2018, it was focused on rural farmers and only used smartphone cameras to capture images of food. Finding that smaller farmers were more apprehensive about working with technology, Intello shifted to work with bigger, more corporate clients last year.
The company offers a number of different assessment tools:
- Intello Track uses smartphone cameras to capture images of produce, which are analyzed by Intello’s cloud to assess size, color, and defects before returning a food grade.
- Intello Sort is a machine that separates produce based on quality.
- Intello Pack can be used to monitor produce as it is being packed for shipment
- Intello Deep is a handheld scanner that detects Brix , pH , TSS, dry matter, moisture, pesticide residue
Intello isn’t the only company using AI and computer vision to assist with the assessment of fresh fruits and vegetables. AgShift offers similar services and launched its Hydra scanning system for bulk inspections last year.
Quickly and fairly assessing food quality has taken on greater importance during this time of global pandemic. Mass restaurant closings and general upheaval revealed the weaknesses and inequalities in our food supply chain with farmers throwing out tons of food. Tools like Intello Labs’ can bring efficiency to the food buying process and help keep the world fed.