FoodMaven, a startup sells oversupplied and imperfect food to restaurants and food service providers, has closed a $15.3 million Series B funding round
Fremont, CA: FoodMaven, a colarado-based startup sells oversupplied and imperfect food to restaurants and food service providers, has closed a $15.3 million Series B funding round to continue its efforts in the field. The Series B funding round was led by Tao Capital and the company's Series A investor. Although details haven't been disclosed by FoodMaven, A member of the Walton family is said to have led the company's $8.6 million Series A funding round in 2018. Other investors who participated in the Series B funding round were Fine Line Group, the family office of developers, and the philanthropists Sasha and Ed bass.
FoodMaven is working towards redirecting approximately 40 percent of the US food waste, by collecting the defective goods that do not meet the standards agreed upon by suppliers to farmers and ranchers to supermarkets. The startup also interlinks suppliers with buyers like restaurants, canteens, hotels, and universities. This model creates revenue for suppliers who would not be able to market these products and also helps get the buyer a discount, especially when they are dealing with razor-thin margins. FoodMaven also dominates the 20 percent of the products to soup kitchens and homeless shelters.
Ben Deda, CEO of FoodMavern, explained the consignment model on which the company runs. In brief, the company takes possession of the product rather than ownership and negotiates a cut of the sale with the supplier. Being the company's COO, he had a background in scaling companies of various sizes across several spectacles.
"To show this solution is something that scales, we need to take it to another market," Deda explained to a popular brand.
Deda quips that the model has to be based on the local distribution to get food to the right buyer quickly. "It's about helping to restore the local food community," Deda said. "We've lost the efficiency that comes with the local food economy."
Deda says FoodMaven has also found that one of the most successful fits on the buyer side is the higher-end restaurants that can deal with variability in availability and volume—something chain restaurants can’t easily handle.