REFED CAPITAL & INNOVATION NEWSLETTER: NOVEMBER 2018
Published November 15, 2018
Updates From ReFED
ReFED’s 2018 U.S. Food Waste Investment Report Reveals VC Funding Reaches $125M YTD 2018 and Foundation Funding Increases 70% Over Five Years
This report highlights specific examples of philanthropic, public and private investment, including a Special Report on Foundation Funding. Key takeaways include news about big businesses joining the food waste innovation game and the role of complementary forms of capital to scale for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Read more funding highlights and trends here.
ReFED hosted its first interactive demo day featuring prevention, recovery and recycling innovators tackling food waste. Six impact-driven innovators pitched their companies in front of an expert panel of judges at the SOCAP conference. Pulp Pantry (CPG) snagged the Runner-Up spot, while GoodR (donation coordination) walked away in First Place - winning a coveted spot at ReFED’s next Innovator Workshop and US Food Waste Summit. Read more about the event on our blog.
Innovator Spotlight Series: Food Forward’s Rick Nahmias Discusses Food Recovery, Fundraising and More
Food Forward recovers and redistributes 400K pounds of surplus produce every week in the Los Angeles area. Now they’re setting their sights on opening a new Produce Depot to help double the amount of produce they donate across southern California. Read about how they plan to do meet this important goal in our first Innovator Spotlight Series.
Opportunities to Get Involved
We’re excited to announce a new competitive grants program from General Mills Foundation to catalyze surplus food recovery programs across North America. Organizations can apply to grants between $25K- $75K to fund innovative food recovery projects or for general operating support. Learn more about the selection criteria and submit a Letter of Intent by December 9th here.
FoodShot Global is supporting mission-driven, scalable, accelerated for-profit businesses with global impact to address this year’s Challenge area, Innovating Soil 3.0. Up to $10M in equity and up to $20M in debt funding is available to innovative businesses that address the crisis of soil deterioration. A GroundBreaker Prize of more than $500K in philanthropic capital is also available to researchers, social entrepreneurs and advocates. Read about the program here and apply by December 1st.
FoodFutureCo is a scale-up accelerator for small, established organizations that provide unique products and solutions across the food system. This accelerator provides consulting, global distribution, financing, operation scaling, buyer meetings and financial exit support to companies to reach their next stage of growth. Cohort companies will each receive an investment of $15K with the possibility for follow-on investment. Apply here by November 16th.
News From the Field
The world’s leading meal kit company partnered with software and data technology company Spoiler Alert to better manage unsold inventory and donate over one million nutritious meals to food insecure populations since July 2017.
Imperfect Produce Receives Major Investment From NBA- All Star Kevin Durant To Expand Into East Coast Market
Startup that delivers customizable boxes of “ugly” produce will use new investment to reach customers in Washington, D.C. in 2019. Additionally, over 350 new jobs will be created in Tucson to run their centralized customer care center.
San Francisco-based Full Harvest is building a B2B marketplace that connects large-scale farms with companies that seek excess produce in order to make their products more affordable.
This agtech startup uses a combination of wireless sensors and data tracking to help improve grain storage and food transport. The company has already helped its customers save $3M worth of grains and will use new funding to build out channels for international expansion.
Mission-driven CPG company ReGrained upcycles the grain generated by the brewing industry, and closed out its $2.5M Series Seed financing to scale their proprietary processing technology and commercialize their ingredient business.
Two of the top three awards went to companies tackling food waste: Winnow won the People’s Choice Award for their technology that allows real-time data monitoring on discarded food in commercial kitchens, while judges awarded the Highly Commended Award to Wasteless, a dynamic pricing system that allows supermarkets to price and sell products based on expiration dates. Watch Winnow’s pitch here and Wasteless’s pitch here.
L.A. Kitchen permanently closed its doors on November 1. L.A. Kitchen spent six years recycling food into meals for social agencies while providing training programs for individuals that formerly incarcerated, homeless, or aged out of foster care.
World Wildlife Fund Releases Report No Food Left Behind: Underutilized Produce Ripe for Alternative Markets
WWF shares the results from its on-farm food loss study, revealing specific opportunities for reducing food loss in fields and recovering more food for human consumption.
Since selling Whole Foods to Amazon, the company’s former co-CEO is taking his skills to the next era of food companies. He recently joined the boards of FoodMaven, a digital platform and logistics company food recovery company, and Apeel Sciences, a company that extends the shelf life of produce through a naturally derived coating.