Food Waste Reduction Startup Raises Seed Financing Led by Rhapsody Venture Partners

CHICAGO -- What would it mean for the world if fruits and vegetables stayed fresher longer? A lot more people would have access to quality produce -- and a lot of what's grown wouldn't go to waste. That's where Hazel Technologies comes in. Hazel Technologies, a USDA-supported ag-tech startup, has announced the closing of an $800K seed investment led by Rhapsody Venture Partners with participation from VentureWell and Valley Oak Investments.

Startup TechWire 2017 Sponsorships Now AvailableAccording to the NRDC, up to 40% of produce in the US goes to waste each year. Hazel makes sure that the food that farmers grow gets from farm to fork. Hazel's two products, FruitBrite™ and BerryBrite™, are simple packaging inserts. Growers, shippers and retailers can easily integrate both products into their operations, dramatically extending produce shelf-life.

BerryBrite uses a proprietary combination of essential oils to prevent the growth of bacteria, fungi and molds in berries. FruitBrite is an extended release technology that prevents ripening, and is effective for transportation and storage of many fruits and vegetables, including avocados, melons, and cherries.

Hazel CEO and co-founder Aidan Mouat commented: "We have completed 12 successful commercial pilots and these same customers are waiting for us to be able to ship product. These customers cumulatively ship over 500 million pounds of produce per year. With this financing, we can fulfill orders we are receiving for 2017. We are passionate about reducing food waste and improving produce quality, and now we're in a position to deliver."

Bernard Lupien, General Partner at RVP, observed, "Hazel is a perfect example of a team and company that will make a rapid market impact."

About Hazel Technologies, Inc.
Hazel Technologies, Inc. is a food waste prevention company based in Chicago, IL and founded by five Northwestern University graduates. Growers and shippers of produce use FruitBrite and BerryBrite to extend the shelf-life of fruits and vegetables thereby reducing spoilage, extending seasons, and expanding geographic markets. FruitBrite is a carton insert that slows ripening of produce. BerryBrite is a berry flat insert that uses a blend of essential oils to increase the shelf life of berries. Hazel has deployed over 25,000 units across North America.

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