Tyson Ventures has invested in Clear Labs, a Silicon Valley startup that uses next-generation sequencing (NGS), robotics, and bioinformatics to help food companies get faster, more accurate results from routine pathogen tests.
Tyson Foods launched its venture capital fund Tyson Ventures in 2016 with a mission of “raising the world’s expectations for how much good food can do.” Their current portfolio includes alternative protein company Beyond Meat, cultured meat companies Memphis Meats and Future Meat Technologies, supply chain software supplier FoodLogiQ, and steam oven manufacturer Tovala.
The investment in Clear Labs represents the venture capital fund’s first foray into food safety technology. Clear Labs’ NGS platform is an alternative to the traditional PCR testing. Compared to legacy PCR systems, NGS is faster (results in 24 hours or less) and more accurate (99.9% accuracy). The technology is already standard in the clinical healthcare market.
Following a successful pilot program, Clear Labs launched the platform last July. They currently work with companies representing over 90% of market share in the poultry industry.
“Given that the global food industry continues to grow in size and complexity, food manufacturers need high-throughput, tunability, and accuracy to ensure safety and protect their supply chains. NGS is the perfect tool, representing the next era of food safety,” Clear Labs co-founder Mahni Ghorashi said in a statement.