Startup TruTag gets $7.5m to keep making microscopic, edible barcodes

A startup called TruTag raised money to develop its edible barcode system, joining other startups in the growing alternative barcode industry.


October 18, 2019

TruTag Technologies’ Series C round brings total funding for the 9-year-old company up to $25m. 

They’ll use the cash to help companies tag and track food, pharmaceuticals, and even vapes through the supply chain. 

Barcodes: a surprisingly hot industry

The International Chamber of Commerce estimates that counterfeiting and piracy could cost the global economy trillions of dollars by 2022 — and it’s a problem worsened by the rise of 3D printers.

A bunch of companies have tried to ID creative solutions — including a company that raised $10m earlier this year to expand its own diamond dust-based security business. Yes, you read that correctly. Diamond. Dust. 

But most of these security solutions come with limitations, which leaves some products and industries more susceptible than others. 

TruTag is a diamond in the rough

A few capabilities separate TruTag from the rest of the pack. They can authenticate products almost instantly. Plus, they’re able to place their tags directly onto products to track them through the supply chain. 

And the biggest one: TruTag makes its tiny barcodes out of nanoporous silica, which the FDA says is safe for humans to eat. Translation: They’re edible. 

That means TruTag could help some of the industries hardest hit by the global counterfeiting problem: pharmaceuticals, food, and cannabis. 

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