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PROFILEPRINT A.I. FOOD FINGERPRINT SCANNER WINS MAJOR FUNDING

ProfilePrint, a Singapore based company, whose name is eponymous to the A.I. tool they have developed, completed their first major funding round (Series A).

The company has developed a food ingredient scanner to identify key attributes of many food items, including coffee. The machine, which is the size of a Nespresso coffee maker, works by scanning a small sample placed in a tray.

ProfilePrint provided details in a media release last week, in which they said:

ProfilePrint first unveiled its A.I. fingerprint prediction technology in June 2021 at the Singapore Coffee Association auction, traditionally held in person but brought online due to the pandemic.

As brewing and sending samples to the few thousand buyers participating from all around the world was practically impossible, ProfilePrint was commissioned as the neutral technology partner, to predict the Q-grading score, taste parameters as well as key attributes, such as moisture and density for all the auctioned coffee beans. This allowed buyers to be more assured of a coffee lot’s quality and profile beyond the scores provided by sellers.

We are encouraged by the results from trials we’ve carried out in both green and soluble coffee using ProfilePrint. The technology could significantly expedite the quality assessment process to benefit the entire value chain – from farmers to roasters. We also see the potential of deploying this solution beyond coffee and into other differentiated food ingredients of cocoa, nuts, spices and dairy.

Mr. Vivek Verma, CEO of the coffee business at Olam Food Ingredients (OFI)
A small sample is loaded into the bottom tray

ProfilePrint’s innovative approach to grading commodities has the potential to enhance operational efficiency, while removing an element of subjectivity in the supply chain. LDC Innovations is excited to partner with ProfilePrint as they commercialise this technology.

Max Clegg, Head of Louis Dreyfus Company’s corporate venture capital program

Despite pandemic-related travel restrictions, ProfilePrint managed to deploy its solution globally to Europe, Africa, Latin America, China, Japan, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

An app gives detailed analysis of the food item being analyied

Sucafina has completed a pilot with ProfilePrint with positive results in Rwanda and Hong Kong, and we are honoured to have the opportunity to play a part in ProfilePrint’s mission, to redefine the coffee industry, which benefits both producers and end consumers. We are excited about investing in ProfilePrint, in partnership with Leman Ventures ,as it is a major step toward achieving our vision of having a fully traceable coffee supply-chain, and of being the leading sustainable farm-to-roaster coffee company in the world.

Mr. Nicolas Tamari, CEO of Sucafina

With this funding round completed, the company plans to use the proceeds to expand the team, invest in R&D to meet the growing demand for its services, and ramp up its international expansion.

Alan Lai, ProfilePrint CEO

With some of the world’s largest food ingredient conglomerates as strategic investors holding equal shares, we are now able to leverage their extensive networks to widen and deepen our product offering, while ensuring that we maintain our neutrality, with the common vision to establish ProfilePrint as the industry’s digital standard for food ingredients globally.

ProfilePrint Founder & CEO, Mr. Alan Lai

Attesting to the company’s impressive market penetration, in spite of the pandemic, Dr. Wong Mun Yew, Managing Partner of Oriza Greenwillow Technology Fund, commented:

It is our privilege to lead ProfilePrint’s series funding round, and to work alongside their leadership team comprising excited founders and leading scientists with proven track records. ProfilePrint’s ability to bring together the giants of the industry, and work together to establish the global digital standard, proves that they have achieved a significant milestone in their transformation journey.

Mr. Daiki Kumamoto, Venture Lead of Real Tech Global Fund, also commented on this milestone:

The rapid growth of ProfilePrint following the earlier investment in the pre series-funding round, has further validated the company’s value proposition, and we are grateful to be a part of its further expansion into one of their core markets, Japan.

Apart from the accurate score the machine produced in the example provided, the speed it operated was impressive.

Bartalks Talks With ProfilePrint’s Head of Marketing, Nicolette Yeo

Bartalks: Can you say how many customers you now have, and are they in a trial phase or using it commercially?

Nicolette: The team spent 2.5 years on R&D and commercialising during the COVID pandemic. In the last 12 months, ProfilePrint has quadrupled the number of MNC clients to 24, currently working on about 50 ongoing POCs, as well as serving over 1,000 farmers. The solution is currently deployed globally across countries in Europe, Africa, Latin America, China, Japan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Singapore

Bartalks: Who is using and paying for it? Is it the auction houses, the farmers, or the buyers?

Nicolette: Our clients include food ingredient conglomerates, merchants, manufacturers, cooperatives and farmers.

Bartalks: Is the data stored in the cloud and used to improve the algorithms? If so, will any of that data be made available, such as via an API to trading platforms, to enrich data sets of green coffee being purchased on those platforms? Who owns the data in this case?

Nicolette: The client owns the data and has full control over the models built with the data, and these will be made available to other parties only if they permit sharing. For example, a food ingredient merchant may decide to share their model with their buyer so that both parties can use it to ascertain the quality of goods digitally during a transaction.

Bartalks: What does this mean for the future of Q Graders?

Nicolette: Q Graders will be needed more than before, with the rapid de-commoditisation of food ingredients such as coffee, as they are essential to train and ensure the models are constantly updated. Well-trained and robust models built on ProfilePrint, will enhance productivity and accuracy, as it empowers Q Graders to speed up the grading process while also simplifying and standardising cross-border calibration via ProfilePrint’s online platform

Author

  • Nick Baskett is the editor in Chief at Bartalks. He holds a diploma from the Financial Times as a Non Executive Director and works as a consultant across multiple industries. Nick has owned multiple businesses, including an award-winning restaurant and coffee shop in North Macedonia.

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