California Safe Soil LLC of West Sacramento just closed another round of funding, with money coming from Bay Area angel investing groups the Keiretsu Forum and Investors' Circle. Here, founder Daniel Morash, left, and chief operations officer Mark LeJeune stand near meat scraps that will be turned into soil amendment.
California Safe Soil LLC of West Sacramento announced Wednesday that it closed on its latest round of financing, which brings the company to a total of $6 million invested.
It got funding from two Bay Area angel investing groups, the Keiretsu Forum and Investors’ Circle. Keiretsu is long established Bay Area group. Investors’ Circle is an “impact investor” that makes investments which are for the greater good and not just for the bottom line.
Safe Soil, which is based in West Sacramento, uses enzymes to quickly turn food waste into a soil amendment.
In May, the company raised $600,000 in a private offering from its existing investors. The company isn’t saying how much the angel funds contributed, said Dan Morash, company founder.
The company, which has a pilot plant in West Sacramento, is commercializing a process to convert leftover food from supermarkets into a low-cost, nutrient-rich soil amendment.
In traditional composting, it takes months to safely convert scraps to soil. Safe Soil uses enzymes to digest the food into safe amendments in three hours.
The startup sells the soil amendment to farmers so they can reduce the amount of chemical fertilizer they use.
Just as importantly, the product also can help cut the amount of chemical fertilizer that runs off into waterways.
The company gets its organic waste from some Safeway stores, as well as some from Nugget Market, Whole Foods and Save Mart.
Grocery stores usually have to pay to have waste hauled away and Safe Soil collects the waste for free.
Farmers are now using the fertilizer on crops, and this fall the company will have information from farmers on their crop yields using the product, Morash said.
The additional recent investments will help fund the company through field trials, he said.
The company is now testing on strawberries, which have shown a 40 percent increase in yield over conventional fertilizers.
It also is testing on tomatoes, grapes, almonds, citrus, leafy greens and other crops.
- Jul 10, 2013, 12:48pm PDT
- Mark Anderson
- Staff Writer-Sacramento Business Journal
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