London-based Winnow, which has created Winnow Vision, an AI tool helping chefs to cut food waste in half, has completed a Series B round of funding for €10.8 million, following a recent €7.2 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) with the help of the Juncker Plan, which focuses on boosting investment to generate jobs and growth.
The Series B round included high-profile investment from Ingka Group, a strategic partner to the IKEA franchisee system, Mustard Seed, Circularity Capital, D-Ax and The Ingenious Group.
“We are very excited about driving the business forward in our global fight against food waste and we are grateful for the continuous support of our investors,” said Winnow co-founder and CEO Marc Zornes. “This year, we launched our ground-breaking AI product Winnow Vision, and chefs using Winnow around the world are saving $33 million worth of food from going to waste annually. We have set a target to save our customers $1 billion of food waste by 2025, and this investment will accelerate our technology development and business development approach to help achieve this ambition.”
Kitchens using Winnow tend to see a 40-70% reduction in food waste within 6-12 months, driving food cost savings between 2-8% in total, which improves profit margins whilst doing the right thing.
Winnow Vision works by taking photos of wasted food as it’s thrown away and uses the images to train itself to recognise what has been discarded. Winnow claims its systems have already reached – and even surpassed – human levels of accuracy in identifying wasted foods.
Launched in a single staff restaurant in 2013, Winnow has been adopted by more than 1,000 sites globally, and is now operating in 40 countries with offices in London, Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai, Cluj-Napoca and Iowa City. In 2019, The Financial Times ranked the company amongst the top 100 of Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies.
“Winnow has been a strong partner on our journey to reducing food waste in our IKEA stores by 50% by 2020,” said Krister Mattsson, Managing Director of Ingka Investments. “This investment supports growth and creates new opportunities to further accelerate the positive impact of food waste prevention. We are focused to increase the use of digital tools and analytics to both create the IKEA store of tomorrow and to deliver on IKEA’s sustainability ambition.”