Phood Solutions aims to reduce food waste and has a new pile of green to help.
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The New York-based startup, developing a food waste prevention platform, raised its first institutional funding, a $2 million oversubscribed seed round co-led by New Stack Ventures and Story Ventures.
“Phood fits perfectly into our view of how the world is evolving–new forms of data capture that enable insights to modernize manual processes,” Story Ventures Partner Jake Yormak said in a written statement “ We particularly love the combination of innovative data capture with a positive mission.”
Here’s how it works: Phood uses computer vision and artificial intelligence to capture the food that businesses, such as grocery stores, are purchasing, preparing and have sitting in refrigerators or on shelves, Luc Dang, Phood’s founder and CEO told Crunchbase News. All of that aggregate data is turned into actionable insights.
“We show the areas where they can make cuts and be more operationally efficient,” he added. “Fighting food waste is our most actionable solution to climate change.”
He plans to put the dollars to work expanding offerings to Phood’s “blue-chip” customer, Whole Foods Market, expanding industry reach, and helping foodservice operations reopen profitably.
Dang founded Phood in 2019 after spending years on a passion project to help spread information on food waste that included speaking around the world on the topic.
He is not alone. The United States wastes approximately 40 percent of the food it produces, and globally, $2.6 trillion annually is lost. Other sustainable food startups addressing this problem are:
- Apeel Sciences secured a $250 million round of funding to develop its coating product;
- Imperfect Foods raised $72 million in Series C funding to improve the food supply chain; and
- Mori raised a $12 million Series A to advance its food coating technology.
While it is too early to talk specifics about growth, Dang said the company is beginning to see a focus on waste as an opportunity and collaboration among startups working toward the same goal.
“We are expanding around our current customer base, as well as helping businesses target reopening,” he added. “We are also expanding our team to ensure the right folks are here to glean customer needs and ensure our value proposition.”
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias
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