Clear Labs, Menlo Park, Calif., close $21 million in funding Series B2 to ramp up commercial operations and build new features for Clear Safety, what is said to be the world’s only automated NGS platform for routine pathogen testing.

The series was led by Menlo Ventures, Menlo Park, Calif., with participation from Wing Venture Capital, Menlo Park, Calif.; Dentsu Ventures, Japan; Felicis Ventures, Menlo Park, Calif.; Khosla Ventures, Menlo Park, Calif., and a number of food production companies.

Currently, Clear Safety supports high-volume testing for Salmonella, with the expectation to add support for additional pathogens and software features in 2019.

“This round of funding was raised on the premise that what the industry needs is perfectly aligned with our product vision,” says Sasan Amini, chief executive officer of Clear Labs. “Food manufacturers and microbiology labs alike recognize that targeted NGS technology will not just fill the gaps left by legacy pathogen testing technologies like PCR, but [also] propel the entire industry toward a fail-safe food system. Clear Labs is the only viable NGS-based option for the food safety industry. This round of funding will help us fulfill all of our customers’ needs and prepare for mass commercialization.”

During an initial pilot program, Clear Labs enrolled companies constituting 90% of the U.S. poultry market, 85% of the pet food market and 50% of third-party service labs.

“Clear Labs aims to improve the safety of the food we all eat every day," says Greg Yap, partner at Menlo Ventures. "Their unique platform leverages advanced sequencing technology and data science to provide better pathogen testing solutions, reduce disease outbreaks and unlock additional opportunities to improve sustainability, agriculture and nutrition. We are excited to invest in a company that is applying genomic technologies to transform important markets."