SILICON VALLEY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–April 30, 2020–

Yamaha Motor Ventures & Laboratory Silicon Valley (“YMVSV”), the strategic business development and investment arm of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. (“YMC”) (Tokyo: 7272), today announced it co-led a $3.3 million seed funding round for Strella Biotechnology (Strella Biotech), an early stage agriculture technology team. Strella Biotech brings shelf life visibility to the fresh produce supply chain. The Company’s technology combines novel IoT biosensors with actionable insights to maximize freshness and reduce spoilage of fruit. Leveraging the USD $100 million Yamaha Motor Exploratory Fund (the “Fund”), the Strella Biotech investment is the latest in YMVSV’s portfolio of ag tech enterprises focused on technological solutions to food supply chain challenges.

“Yamaha Motor remains keenly interested in teams applying innovative approaches to improving quality and increasing efficiency within the global food supply chain,” said Nolan Paul, Partner and Global Ag Tech Lead for YMVSV. “Strella Biotechnology takes on the real-world challenge of food waste in a simple, yet sophisticated, technological approach that is already making a difference in delivering more, higher quality produce to consumers.”

The oversubscribed seed funding round for Strella Biotech co-led by YMVSV and Catapult Ventures raised a total $3.3 million U.S. with additional investments from Union Labs, Mark Cuban Red & Blue Ventures, and supply chain pioneer Art Mesher. The funding will support the company’s product expansion into the retail distribution market, refining its technology for on-pallet sensing to allow data streaming throughout transportation to ensure better product selection by distributors and product quality at delivery to grocery stores. To date, Strella has monitored nearly 150 million fruits in the packing segment of the supply chain, where some fruits are stored for up to a year to accommodate for demand. Fruit packers use Strella technology to predict fruit maturation in storage and schedule shipments to retailers, resulting in reduced food spoilage.

“This is an incredibly exciting time in the lifecycle of Strella Biotech and to have Yamaha Motor Ventures as a partner to help deliver our food waste solution to the global market is very validating,” said Katherine Sizov, CEO of Strella Biotechnology. “Gaining access to both funding and expertise from Yamaha will help us scale and evolve our ethylene-sensing IP and we look forward to our path forward together.”

About Strella Biotechnology

Taking on the challenge of $1 trillion in global food waste, Strella Biotechnology provides actionable data to optimize the fresh produce supply chain. With proprietary biosensor technology fueled by Internet-of-Things capabilities, Strella Biotech offers a data-driven approach to ensuring fruit quality throughout every segment of the supply chain. Strella Biotech is working to help produce companies increase their margins and decrease shrink by providing dynamic shelf life predictions. Strella Biotechnology is committed to supporting lower carbon emissions from the fresh produce industry and increasing sustainability for a healthier planet.

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About Yamaha Motor Ventures & Laboratory Silicon Valley

Yamaha Motor Ventures & Laboratory Silicon Valley is a wholly-owned subsidiary of YMC. Founded in 2015 in support of YMC’s long-term goal to contribute to society through business, YMVSV manages the Yamaha Motor Exploratory Fund, a USD $100 million investment fund with a 10-year lifecycle focused on seed to Series B investments. Headquartered in the home of innovation, Silicon Valley, Calif., YMVSV offers a wealth of business development resources to startup companies to drive innovation forward in the fields of mobility, sustainability, robotics, food and agriculture, health and wellness, and aviation.

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Lisa Spicer
For Yamaha Motor Ventures & Laboratory Silicon Valley

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