Hazel Technologies raised $13 million to push its unique technology for keeping produce fresh longer from growers to retailers.
The company, launched in 2015 by two Northwestern graduates, developed a proprietary blend of oils derived from herbs, such as dill and oregano, containing antimicrobial compounds that stop bacteria, mold and fungi.
The company, based at the Illinois Institute of Technology tech park in Bronzeville, plans to double its headcount to about 30 by the end of the year.
Customers include large produce suppliers to retailers that include Trader Joe’s, Costco and Walmart, says CEO Aidan Mouat. The company plans to use the funding to sell Hazel’s product directly to retailers, a market that Mouat estimates is four times larger than the wholesale market. Hazel also plans to move into the non-agriculture supply chain, such as meat and seafood.
New investors include the Grantham Foundation and Asahi Kasei Ventures. Total funding is $17.8 million.