ImpactAlpha, January 30 – Colorado-based FoodMaven is trying to combat foods waste in the U.S. agriculture sector by linking producers and manufacturers of over-supplied or imperfect food to large-scale users like universities and restaurant groups.
The company has raised $10 million from Tao Capital Partners and members of the Walton Family. The bridge round follows an $8.6 million Series A round last year.
FoodMaven launched in 2015 to find alternative uses for the 30% to 40% of food produced in the U.S. that is not consumed. The company acts as a marketplace for buyers and sellers of what it calls “lost food”—a phrase it uses to make the concept more palatable to buyers.
“One of the biggest challenges we discovered is that no one wants to buy food waste. That’s why we call it lost food; it’s not distressed food, it’s just food that’s in a distressed context,” FoodMaven founder Patrick Bultema said.
FoodMaven sources directly with farmers and targets large food service companies, universities and hospitality services as its customers. The company focuses on industrial-level players “because they can move at a much larger scale.” It donates a portion of its inventory to hunger relief organizations and any other food it can’t sell, it turns over to pet food companies, zoos, or converts it to farm feed.
In addition to its successful funding rounds, the company has secured several heavy hitters for its board. Isaac Pritzker of Tao Capital Partners joins with this latest round of funding. Former Whole Foods CEO Walter Robb, an earlier investors, joined FoodMaven’s board after Amazon acquired Whole Foods.