It really does seem like whatever Naeem Zafar touches, turns to gold. TeleSense, Naeem’s Silicon Valley startup uses IoT technology to improve grain storage. An estimated $12 billion of grain is lost to spoilage every year and in the last growing season, the startup saved almost $3 million from devastation. The company’s proprietary sensor collects data about stored grain for better storage. “Only 30% of the 475,000-grain storage locations worldwide have some instrumentation deployed to gather data, mostly measuring temperature with only a few measuring humidity. And even those examples required manual operation and data collection,” explains Naeem.
With its early success and proof of concept, Notably, Maersk Growth, the venture capital arm of the Danish logistics and transportation giant, made its first agtech investment in TeleSense, just a few months after launching FoodTrack, its startup acceleration program. TeleSense has raised $6.5 million in Series A funding from a range of strategic, industry investors and VCs. These include Finistere Ventures, Rabobank’s Food & Agri Innovation Fund, Congruent Ventures, Radicle Growth, and previous investor Plug & Play Ventures.
“We have seen that the recent case of bumper crops have resulted in surplus grain, causing storage complexities around the globe. Intelligent, data-driven decisions will help decrease the pressure of seasonal pricing fluctuations, global trade, and tariff concerns, and currency issues,” Zafar wrote in a statement. “We want storage operators to have a clear view of the condition of all their stored grain, so potential issues can be detected and any negative business impact mitigated.”
The technology will disrupt how is grain stored, how it’s transported, and ultimately how farmers and grain elevators market their grain to buyers — namely the ABCD commodity trading houses (ADM, Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus), according to Zafar.
The company will invest in further R&D of its GrainSafe platform as well as look to expanding into its targeted regions of Latin America, Australia, North America, and Eastern Europe by building an international channel partner program.