Contxto – Organic and naturally conserved fruits await consumers in Argentina and Germany, thanks to startup PolyNatural’s recent equity raising for US$800,000. The round was led by ChileGlobal Ventures. This venture capital (VC) arm was joined by Alerce and The Yield Lab, an innovation hub from Argentina.
The Chilean startup developed an organic substitute (cleverly christened) Shel-Life, to naturally extend the shelf life of fruit. This natural compound is certainly useful for companies that export perishable food to other parts of the globe.
Besides feeding its international expansion, PolyNatural shall also use the investment to strengthen its presence in Chile. Plus it will further develop its solution for avocados and blueberries.
Let’s dig into the details, shall we?
PolyNatural keeping it fresh
Francisco Palma launched this startup in 2016 to offer an organic substitute to the typical preservative chemicals used in the fruticulture industry.
PolyNatural states that its flagship product, Shel-Life, is composed of vegetable polymers as well as “natural ingredients and components.” This mix works as an additional layer of protection that shields fruit from microorganisms and delays the overall aging process.
Thus avoiding the transformation of a juicy red apple into a withered, gross funghi fest upon reaching supermarkets.
At the moment, the startup’s solution works for seven different fruits including pears, oranges, and apples.
Now I’m one to be a skeptic when a business claims it uses “all-natural ingredients.” However, the startup’s website boasts having certifications from relevant authorities on all-things organic from Europe and the United States.
At the moment, the startup is carrying out pilot tests with producers in Argentina. But equity will be used to further consolidate itself in this Latin American country, in addition to its native Chile.
There are Latin American producers and exporters of fruit who represent the startup’s customers. Nonetheless, PolyNatural reports that the people who actually eat the fruit are in Europe and the United States.
That helps to explain why it’s eyeing European markets, as well as the United States.
“They’re the ones following the trend in healthy food and reducing food waste. Supermarkets in Germany and England demand wax-free products,” said Palma.
As this trend catches on among consumers in Latin America, I expect more “organic” growth here too.
Ba dum tss.
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