30th October 2020 By Samantha Worthington | email@example.com | @foodtickernz
Dunedin-based tech startup Winely has closed a seed funding round of $2m.
The company helped winemakers automate fermentation analysis for quality control in real-time, a traditionally labour-intensive part of the production process.
Winely had completed its first field trials in Central Otago and then expanded rapidly, deploying its technology across the major wine regions in New Zealand, Australia, and California.
Jacob Manning, Winely co-founder and chief executive said the company was “ecstatic” about the funding round.
“This funding is a show of faith in our team, our technology, and in our vision of bringing Winely to the global winemaking market,” he said.
“Current sampling processes mean only one or two data points can be taken a day and that’s not good enough for timely decisions. With Winely, winemakers get real-time data right from their computer. Our technology helps our clients gain a competitive edge.”
Venture capitalists from New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States contributed to the seed round, which included investors from companies such as Atlassian and Canva.
The startup’s customers represented 77% of US local market consumption, and though Winely had not shared who its customers were, the startup said they supplid 80% of the wines commonly seen in the supermarket.
“Our business is another example of New Zealand technology being a real global leader in agri-tech,” Winely co-founder and chief technology officer Abbe Hyde said.
“We are building the world’s first real-time fermentation analysis platform, using emerging internet of things sensors, and artificial intelligence to give winemakers the information they need to deeply understand their ferments, as they happen.”
Winely said it planned to double its current team of seven with several specialist engineers who would join the company in November.
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