This week we are thrilled to announce our co-investment in Flowaste, a Rockstart AgriFood portfolio company. The €1m seed round was led by Underdog labs, a US based VC, with Rockstart as co-investor and with the participation of several angel investors. The startup plans to use the funding to expand its automated food analytics platform and capabilities and scale to 100 locations across the United States over the next nine months.
Currently about 1/3 of food is wasted globally and food waste has a carbon footprint 6x larger than global aviation. FloWaste’s food analytics platform uses proprietary image recognition technology to empower food service providers and industrial food producers to reduce food waste automatically. Using kitchen data, FloWaste allows food service providers to optimize meal preparation, ingredient combinations, and portion sizing, while reducing labor costs, to maximize profits and minimize excess. FloWaste has three live paid pilot customers who have signed agreements to expand to 100+ locations across the United States.
“Reducing food loss and waste is essential if we are to reach planetary boundaries whilst still feeding +9billion by 2050. Aside from being impressed by the team, we invested because FloWaste is not only treating a symptom, but their solution is applied across the whole value chain allowing them to become the waste reduction function for a fragmented industry.”Mark Durno, Managing Partner AgriFood, Rockstart
“It is clear that the world has finally started to realize the tragedy of global food waste. At FloWaste, we hope to make up our own piece of the solution to fight food waste and carbon emissions related to the food chain. Currently about 1/3 of global emissions are related to food if you think about agriculture, transport, processing, packaging, and food waste decomposition. We go through all this effort to produce food as a society, and 1/3 is wasted. FloWaste will expand our automated food analytics platform and capabilities with the extra resources made available from this raise. We have agreements to scale from 4 locations to 100 locations over the next 9 months, and some high profile pilots in the works so our hands will be full! With these customers we will work to improve our core competency of classifying and quantifying food and food waste, and synthesising various data streams to optimize kitchen and industrial food processes.”Rian Mc Donnell , CEO, Flowaste
“We invested in FloWaste because we saw a powerful use case for machine vision that could not only generale real cost savings and ROI for their customers, but also help the broader important mission of lowering food waste. Since our initial investment, the team has continued to impress us as they’ve iterated the product based on real world feedback – and continued to grow the business.”Alex Chang, Co-founder, Underdog Labs
The AgriFood fund is Rockstart’s first fund launched in 2019. In May 2021, Rockstart announced the closing of the fund at €22m with the participation of Vaekstfonden’s Green Future Fund, alongside informal investors and global dairy cooperative Arla Foods. Rockstart AgriFood has invested in 29 startups since its launch in mid-2019, making the fund one of the most active AgriFood investors in the world. The Rockstart AgriFood portfolio companies have collectively raised >€10m in total thus far. Rockstart AgriFood received more than 600 applications this year and selected startups are now going through the Rockstart AgriFood accelerator program.
Congrats to the team and looking forward to seeing them grow further in the coming years.