Back in 2004 startup Purfresh — then called Novazone — underwent a complete overhaul and began to refocus its efforts on selling its purification and preservation technology to the food and water industries. While the legacy that then-CEO David White (who was eventually replaced by David Cope – one of our 25 Who Ditched Infotech for Cleantech) put in place is still going strong, the company is still also raising money five years after its Series A round. According to an SEC filing, Purfresh has just raised $10 million from investors including Foundation Capital.
Pufresh makes ozone-based technology for purifying and preserving food and water, and sells things like disinfection systems for sanitizing fruits, crops, water, canned drinks, medicines and personal-care products. Purfresh’s technology can also be used to extend the life of perishable goods that are shipped long distances. Purfresh says its systems can kill more contaminants than chlorine, at a lower cost, with no harmful chemicals, and with no leftover residue (making it a good fit for the organic food market).
How does it work? In the case of sanitizing food and crops, the company’s refrigerator-sized system binds air with extra oxygen molecules to make ozone, which is then injected into a water-filled tank that cleans the food, explained Jennifer Kho in this Red Herring article. The extra, unstable oxygen atom attaches itself to bacteria and kills it and the rest of the gas turns into oxygen. Ozone purification processes have been used in the bottled drink market for awhile, but less commonly in the food sanitization industry.
This latest round of $10 million is at least the fourth round of funding over the last five years. Purfresh raised a Series C round of $25 million in mid 2008, a $7 million in Series B financing in 2006 and a $10.6 million Series A back in 2005. The company is backed by Chilton Investment Company, Foundation Capital, Grauer Capital and Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital.