ImpactAlpha, September 8 — Even amid the downturn in venture funding this year, significant raises for companies in food waste management and upcycling provided positive signals for addressing food waste, reported ReFED’s Alejandro Enamorado in a market update for ImpactAlpha (see, “Silver linings in an uncertain fundraising market for food waste innovation”).
San Francisco-based Imperfect Foods, launched in 2015, and New Jersey-based Misfits Market, launched in 2018, “share a vision for a food supply chain that tackles waste and inefficiency and turns that into value for consumers,” said Misfits Market’s Abhi Ramesh. Ramesh will lead the combined company as CEO.
By delivering foods deemed too “ugly” for supermarkets to consumers at more affordable prices, Imperfect Foods and Misfits Market have redirected nearly 500 million pounds of food that may otherwise have gone to waste.
Food waste market
SoftBank’s Vision Fund led Misfits’ Series C last year on the thesis that “the bottom two-thirds of American society is poorly served when it comes to affordable, fresh and sometimes organic groceries,” says SoftBank’s Lydia Jett. The deal valued Misfits at $2 billion.
The Imperfect acquisition, ReFED’s Enamorado told ImpactAlpha, represents “one of the few exits in the food waste space showing investors realizable returns.” Enamorado said the transaction brings total U.S. food waste investment to nearly $1 billion so far this year.