Group raises money in a friends and family round before its scheduled Series A round in the autumn

Seattle-based agtech company RipeLocker has raised US$7.5m in funding as part of a friends and family round.

The group, which specialises in low-atmosphere containers for storing and shipping fresh produce and extending their harvest life, said that growing sales combined with successful efficacy trials on several additional high-value commodities had ”excited the agricultural community and thrilled the company’s existing investors resulting in a small pre-Series A raise being over-subscribed”.

“Our goal was a small friends and family raise to buy us time to complete our much larger Series A financing in the fall,” said George Lobisser, co-founder and CEO.

”What’s exciting about this current raise is it includes funds from customers, grower/packers, agricultural industry executives, and academics,” he explained. ”These individuals have the background to truly understand the value created by the RipeLocker inside the perishable space.”

The additional US$7.5m raise brings the total RipeLocker raised since inception to US$21m.

According to the company, the funds will be used to implement technical upgrades to its system which is comprised of software, sensors, and chambers as well as build additional inventory for its commercial launches for customers and ongoing efficacy trials.

RipeLocker said it would continue to add to its list of perishables, opportunities that create ”significant economic value for the grower/packer community that ultimately benefits the consumer via longer seasonal availability, better taste, and shelf-life resulting in less food loss and waste”.