Dealflow | May 13, 2021

Kroger Innovation Fund and Village Capital to accelerate 10 food-tech startups

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, May 13 — Halving U.S. food waste is a $14 billion annual investment opportunity. The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger Zero Waste Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the national grocer, has partnered with Village Capital to support 10 U.S.-based startups working to prevent, recover and recycle food waste.

The new cohort includes San Antonio-based Grain4Grain, which turns grain byproducts into low-carb, high-protein flour; Portland’s Take Two reuses grain from beer production to make sustainable, plant-based foods; and Journey Foods, an Austin-based startup that uses software tech to help food companies direct more surplus food to people in need. Such startups are critical to creating “resilient communities that are free of hunger and waste,” said the foundation’s Denise Osterhues.

Food diversity

Eight out of the 10 startups are led by women, and more than half have a Black, Asian and/or Latinx founder. Six of the 10 companies are based outside of California, Massachusetts and New York. The cohort will split an initial $1 million in grants and are eligible for another $1.5 million in funding.