KPMG Capital leads $10m for SmartLabel company

Label Insight will use the raise to develop new products and improve its platform for managing consumer product information.

KPMG Capital has led a $10 million funding round for Label Insight, whose flagship product allows grocery companies to generate and maintain product data for characteristics like allergens and nutrients.

Existing investors Mercury Fund, Cultivation Capital, Serra Ventures and Dunnhumby Ventures contributed follow-on investments, which brings the total raised by Label Insight to $14 million. West Capital Advisors also joined the raise as a new investor.

As part of the raise, KPMG member firms will gain access to Label Insight’s SmartSPEC product, a first-to-market data solution, which means brands can list the 52 required attributes (like allergens) and 197 voluntary attributes (like “no artificial preservatives”) that form the SmartLabel Transparency Initiative. The initiative aims to make product information like outside certifications and social compliance programmes readily available to consumers. In December 2015, the Grocery Manufacturers of America predicted the SmartLabel Initiative will have 30,000 participating products in the next two years.

Earlier this month, agtech-focused Cultivian Sandbox executives Ron Meeusen and Andy Ziolski told Agri Investor that technologies for traceability and transparency in agri goods are primed for growth, as consumers become more concerned about food safety and sustainability.

Label Insight plans to use the money from the raise to develop new products and improve the data science that serves as a foundation for its services.

“Our investment in Label Insight will allow KPMG member firms to provide retail food and beverage clients with a best-in-class solution for managing and distilling actionable insights from an ever-growing taxonomy of product data and attributes,” said Mark Toon, chief executive of KPMG Capital, in a statement.

“KPMG understands the challenges facing [consumer packaged goods] brands and retailers as they strive to provide shoppers with greater product transparency,” said Anton Xavier, chief executive of Label Insight. He added KPMG’s global footprint would help accelerate our expansion into new markets.

KPMG Capital is a $100 million investment fund established in 2013 by KPMG International, with a focus on data, analytics and technology companies. The fund is limited to clients of KPMG International.

West Capital Advisors invests alongside established venture capital funds, on behalf of a client base of high net worth individuals and family offices. According to PEI Reasearch & Analytics, the group is currently investing from six venture capital funds with a total of roughly $9.5 million in commitments.

Cultivation Capital is a venture capital firm specialising in early-stage investments in technology and life sciences businesses in the US. As of January 2015, the firm had raised $4.75 million for its Cultivation Capital Tech Fund II. The fund has a target of $40 million, according to PEI Research &Analytics.

Serra Ventures closed on $80 million for its venture capital fund focused on early-stage tech companies in 2013. The group led a recent investment round for agtech start-up Agrible.

Founded in 2005 under the brand DRJ Mercury, Mercury Fund is a seed and early-stage venture capital firm that specialises in science and software-based companies. In December 2014, the firm held a final close on $105 million for its third fund, short of its $125 million target, according to PEI Research & Analytics.

Dunnhumby Ventures provides venture funding for data and retail technology start-ups.