Early Stage

Solving the global food safety challenge.

Solving the global food safety challenge.


Raised to Date: Raised: $1,070,000

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Year Founded



Food, Beverage, & Restaurants

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Mountain View, California

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SnapDNA, with a $28 million valuation cap, is raising funds on Republic. The company addresses the food industry’s most critical need: reducing the number and the severity of outbreaks, lowering production costs, and allowing fresher, safer food.
David Medin, Tom Jacobs and Veronica De Guzman founded SnapDNA in 2011. The crowdfunding round has a minimum goal of $25,000 and a maximum goal of $1,070,000. SnapDNA has the first self-contained, on-site analysis designed to replace all food pathogen lab tests. Results are available in 20 minutes and hundreds of samples can be analyzed per day. Unlike lab tests, SnapDNA provides quantitative data to reduce the time to find contaminations from months to days, enabling predictive analytics to help prevent outbreaks.

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Financials as of: 12/24/2020
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Raise History

Offering Name Close Date Platform Valuation/Cap Total Raised Security Type Status Reg Type
SnapDNA 09/05/2023 Republic $40,000,000 $282,384 SAFE Funded RegCF
SnapDNA 04/27/2021 Republic $28,000,000 $1,070,000 SAFE Funded RegCF
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Pathogen testing is necessary in the food distribution industry if society wants to remain healthy. Despite widespread testing in place in the US, one in six Americans get sick each year from contaminated foods or beverages. The problem extends beyond just this though. There’s also the issue of time and cost for the facilities that produce the food. Current pathogen testing can require up to seven days to complete. This means higher storage costs for inventory and food that isn’t as fresh as it could be. 

One company looking to challenge the status quo is SnapDNA. Sending away food samples for pathogen testing should become a thing of the past if the company’s technology takes off. Instead, testing can take place anywhere one of the firm’s devices are located. Each one looks to be the size of a large desk printer. A sample as small as a tablespoon is placed in a single-use cartridge and run through the machine. While processing, the device extracts any pathogen’s RNA and analyzes it. In about 20 minutes, the results are made available to those running the machine, and they are also uploaded to the cloud. This latter feature allows companies to monitor all of their facilities in real-time. Also of note is the fact that each device is capable of processing hundreds of samples every day.

Another key point of attraction for SnapDNA’s technology is that it can be used by most anyone. These advantages have led the company to embark on in-depth discussions with several food providers. It also has two paid pilots, one with PepsiCo and the other with Nestle. Collectively, the firms it is in discussion with control over 1,000 facilities. To put this in perspective, management forecasts that only about 70 are needed for the company to break even. Management has also made the claim that the USDA will certify their device for use across all government agencies. 

To monetize the technology, management at SnapDNA has developed a subscription-based business model. Each device will involve a subscription fee that customers must pay monthly. In addition, each single-use cartridge will involve a fee. This means that the company is effectively charging a fixed fee for every test conducted. No other revenue sources have been discussed by management. However, it’s not hard to imagine charging a service fee for the cloud and/or offering data analytics for its users. Specific pricing has not been made public, but the firm did say that it will be competitive with legacy solutions in the market.

SnapDNA’s current Republic raise has been rated a Neutral Deal by the KingsCrowd investment team.

Next Section: Price


In order to get to where it is today, SnapDNA has raised in excess of $3 million and put countless time and energy into its product. To continue growing the firm and get it closer to full-scale commercialization, it is raising capital through a SAFE that will convert subject to a 10% discount to the company’s next raise. The price management is asking for investors to accept, though, is quite high. The valuation cap has been set at a lofty $28 million. This is far higher than most pre-revenue or even early revenue companies tend to ask for. Because of this, SnapDNA’s price score is its lowest across all five metrics.

Next Section: Market


The global market for food pathogen testing is fairly small, but it’s growing at a nice clip. The management team at SnapDNA said that they believe the market opportunity is worth about $10 billion and that by 2023 it should expand to $13 billion. We could not find any reliable information to confirm this to be the case. Estimates we found peg the market as smaller than this. One forecast estimates that it’s worth about $6.8 billion. With an annualized growth rate of 6.1%, it should expand to $7.3 billion by 2023. A second source is a little more generous, pegging the opportunity at about $8.4 billion. With a growth rate of 7.8% per annum, it should expand to $11.4 billion by 2025. 

All of this so far covers only the food pathogen testing market. There is a broader market opportunity here that includes general food safety and testing. This space, according to one source, is worth about $16 billion today. With an annualized growth rate of 7.4%, it’s expected to grow to $21.4 billion by 2024. Even if management grows the firm into this broader space, the market opportunity for SnapDNA is still fairly small. Balancing the small market niche against a decent growth rate, the company’s market score is middle of the road.

Next Section: Team


Though SnapDNA could be stronger on the issues of price and market, one area it excels in is its team. At present, the company’s team consists of three key individuals. All of them are founders of the business. The first of these is David Medin, SnapDNA’s CEO. Prior to SnapDNA, Medin worked as a Vice President of Electrical Engineering at Spatial Photonics, a semiconductor firm. Before that position, he held the position of CTO and Vice President of Worldwide Engineering at Tvia Inc. Another prior role was as Business Development at NVIDIA, and before that he was an Executive Vice President at Tymphany Corp. All of these technical positions qualify him to understand and lead a company that, at its core, revolves around a complicated device that must conduct precise operations. 

A second key individual at SnapDNA is Tom Jacobs, the company’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. In the past, he was a Partner at PJT Concepts, a fast-casual breakfast startup. That position is more or less irrelevant to his current post, but some of his earlier work is incredibly relevant. For instance, at one point he worked as a Director of National Account Sales at Chicago Meat Authority. And prior to that, he held the position of National Account Manager at both National Steak & Poultry, and at Tyson Foods. Both firms would have involved an emphasis on food quality and safety. 

The third key person at SnapDNA, meanwhile, is Veronica DeGuzman. At present, she’s employed as a Scientist at the company. Her most recent work before this was as an Ames Associate at NASA Ames. Though NASA may not sound all that relevant to the kind of work required at SnapDNA, it surprisingly is. While there, DeGuzman worked on single molecule RNA/DNA analysis. She performed similar work while conducting post-doctoral research at NASA and as a Graduate Researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz. 

The strength of this core team cannot be understated. Thus, SnapDNA’s team score is its strongest across all five metrics.

Next Section: Differentiators


Upon researching SnapDNA, we were not able to find many competitors. Traditional lab testing is the firm’s primary competition. But if its offering is superior then the word ‘competition’ should be used lightly. SnapDNA is clearly a viable replacement for traditional lab testing. One possible exception to the absence of competition might be GNA Biosolutions. At present, GNA is focused on COVID-19 testing. But it has long been working on testing technologies that would allow it to detect a wide array of pathogens. Not much is public about GNA. But we do know that SnapDNA has two patents that have already been awarded to it that should serve to shield it from competition. The absence of major competition and secured patents has netted SnapDNA an above average differentiators score.

Next Section: Performance


Since its founding, SnapDNA has had mixed performance. If judged solely from the perspective of its financials, the company would score low on our 1-to-5 scale. After all, in both 2018 and 2019 the business generated nothing in the way of revenue. The firm’s net loss of $374,512 in 2018 nearly doubled to a loss of $695,911 in 2019. Operating cash flow over this period worsened from a net outflow of $204,676 to a net outflow of $374,992. Management has not provided a glimpse into 2020 yet, but the results are probably similar. The business also has $3.97 million in debt, $2.87 million of which is in the form of convertible notes. None of this is encouraging. However, the ability of the firm to land two patents, and its successful launch of two pilots with companies that could end up major customers, should be viewed as a massive net positive for shareholders. Due to the promising potential of SnapDNA’s pilot programs, the company’s performance score is strong. 

Next Section: Other

Bearish Outlook

At this point in time, there are plenty of reasons to feel bearish about SnapDNA. For starters, the company’s lack of revenue and significant net losses and cash outflows in years past are cause for concern. Also worrisome is the sizable debt on its books. Yes, this debt is convertible in nature, but that would still be dilutive to shareholders. Another problem that investors need to be cognizant of is the valuation — $28 million for a valuation cap is awfully high. On top of all of this, the company operates in a rather small industry, which will limit upside potential in the long run.

Next Section: Bullish Outlook

Bullish Outlook

Though there are bearish considerations regarding SnapDNA, there are bullish ones as well. The company’s technology appears to be a massive step forward for the industry and it’s patent protected. If its pilots go well, it could spend the next few years capturing a commanding piece of its small, but attractively-growing market. The firm’s team is robust and should not be underestimated, and on the topic of differentiation the business thrives. The fact that they are already in paid pilots is excellent.

Next Section: Executive Summary

Executive Summary

Put together, there’s a lot of good here for investors to look at, but this is underscored by a lot of risky aspects that need to be taken into consideration. SnapDNA is led by an experienced and well-connected team. Its technology also looks to be quite superior to the market’s current standard. If the company can turn its current pilots into paying customers, SnapDNA might be able to carve out a nice niche for itself. However, investors should be wary of the firm’s financial performance up to this point. Additionally, the small nature of the food pathogen testing market will limit SnapDNA’s ability to grow. Balancing these factors together, SnapDNA is a Neutral Deal at this time.

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Analysis written by Daniel Jones.

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SnapDNA on Republic
Platform: Republic
Security Type: SAFE
Valuation: $28,000,000

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