Milking the Benefits of International Success

From farm to store, a lot happens behind-the-scenes before your milk reaches your glass or cereal bowl. In fact, despite milk’s seeming simplicity, the process to get it to market can be pretty complicated.

That’s where SomaDetect comes in. SomaDetect works with farmers to provide the information they need to produce the best quality milk. Their technology gives dairy famers access to real-time, automated analysis of milk quality, reproductive status and herd health indicators from every cow at every milking. This helps farmers identify issues early, manage reproduction and reduce unnecessary antibiotic use, ensuring only the highest-quality milk makes it to market. That means better milk for you and I and better lives for the cows, keeping them healthy and free of disease.

SomaDetect Inc. was established in July 2016 by Dr. Bethany Deshpande. Bethany has a strong foundation in science, experimentation and entrepreneurship, so we’re confident in the company’s growth potential. Not to mention, they’re attracting a lot of attention for their technology, which uses a patented system of forward light scattering that’s more cost-effective and convenient than their competitors’ methods.

That innovative technology recently led us to invest $500,000 in the company. Our investment is part of an overall round of over $2.5 million led by Cavallo Venture Capital, the San Francisco-based venture capital arm of Wilbur-Ellis, a major American agricultural technology company.

“It’s exciting to see the interest from US investors on something that’s focused on agriculture and cows,” Thomas Bird, our Investment Associate, told us. “It’s something that people in New Brunswick connect with – farming and dairy. Having that connection and showing we can monetize technology that improves something we’re so familiar with is something that will really hit home with a lot of New Brunswickers.”

SomaDetect has offices in Buffalo, NY and right here in Fredericton. Not only does their office here in Fredericton employ New Brunswickers, but it’s also a big benefit to recent graduates who are interested in getting involved with a start-up.

We really see SomaDetect as a local success story, plus they’re bringing private capital back here, and that’s great for New Brunswick.

Our relationship with SomaDetect goes back to our 2017 Breakthru awards, where they were a runner-up. Having them come out of the Breakthru competition, and then become the success story they are now, is a win for our team. We made our first investment in the company with $250,000 in 2018. Their continued growth with a strong presence in Fredericton, alongside a great team and a great product, prompted us to make a second investment in the company this year.

SomaDetect plans to use their latest investment for ongoing product development and marketing efforts.

When we asked Bethany about our partnership together, she said “We’re thankful that NBIF was an early believer in our company’s potential, and we’re looking forward to what’s to come.”

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