Set on tackling an escalating food waste crisis, French startup Hors Normes has just raised €7 million to save rejected fruit and vegetables. The Paris-based startup has been gaining traction since its launch for its win-win approach to addressing waste.
Food waste is a growing problem and one of the contributing factors is an obsession with perfectionism – the belief that our fruit and vegetables have to be in the perfect shape and look pretty enough to hit the stalls. In reality, this means that every day, far too much quality (and often organic) produce is wasted – rejected by traditional retail channels.
On a quest to save rejected fruit and vegetables, and instead deliver them directly to consumers, Paris-based startup Hors Normes has just bagged €7 million. The fresh seed funding saw a new shareholder, Project A (a German Venture Capital fund) take a share in the company’s capital along with the company’s historic shareholder, Stride VC (UK).
Currently present in Paris, Lyon and Marseille, Hors Normes has already won over about 7k regular customers since its 2020 creation. In just two years, the startup has built solid foundations to ensure sustainable development and has established a long-term economic relationship of benefit to both producers and consumers. It recovers the rejected share of inventory from producers and offers its products for sale directly to consumers at a price up to 40% lower. Economically this is a win/win relationship, which also has the merit of contributing to reducing the carbon footprint of our food since food wastage alone accounts for nearly 8% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
To date, the company has saved some 400 tonnes of produce – which highlights just how much food we waste, as well as the massive potential there is to do something about it.
With this new funding, the startup aims to consolidate its service and accelerate its deployment in France and abroad in order to multiply the number of regular customers by 8 by the end of 2023 and save over 3,000 tons of products. This will be achieved by expanding to other French cities by the end of 2023. The company is also reviewing other European cities to expand into, developing new features and expanding the range of grocery products available.
Sven Ripoche, co-founder of Hors Normes, said: “This second round of financing marks the start of a new stage in Hors Normes’ expansion. In just 2 years, we have managed to win over more than 7,000 customers and save more than 400 tonnes of food produce. We want to continue our mission: reduce food waste and make good quality products available to all. To do this, expanding our presence in France and abroad, and increasing our range of saved products will be our priorities for the next 24 months. Our action also has a positive social impact on French producers, since Hors Normes is an additional source of income for them.”