Netherlands-based food tech company OneThird announced today it has raised €1.5 million ($1.8 million USD) for its shelf-life-prediction technology that helps growers, retailers, and distributors cut down on food waste. SHIFT Invest and Oost NL participated in the round, according to a press release sent to The Spoon.
The new funds will partly go towards further developing OneThird’s tech, which it calls a “fresh produce quality prediction platform.” The platform consists of a handheld scanner, near-infrared sensors, artificial intelligence, and data analytics used in combination to “look inside” the produce and determine its remaining shelf life.
“Our unique prediction technology allows quality inspectors throughout the food supply chain to get immediate feedback about shelf life and other quality parameters of fresh produce and take better decisions,” Marco Snikkers, founder of OneThird, said in today’s press release.
OneThird says that its technology can work in multiple stages of the supply chain. Growers, for example, can use the platform to determine where they should ship different batches of produce. Distributors can use it to make routing decisions, while retailers can train their staff to assess the freshness of produce in the store.
The point of all this, of course, is to cut down on food waste. As underscored by the OneThird company name, a third of all the world’s food goes to waste each year, with $408 billion spent in the U.S. alone to grow, process, transport, and store food that is never consumed. The waste has a number of consequences, from environmental degradation to people going hungry to lost money for retailers, distributors, and growers.
OneThird joins a growing list of companies bringing a variety of food-waste-fighting solutions to market, from Hazel’s packaging inserts to food redistribution companies like Too Good to Go to Apeel’s edible coating.
OneThird will also use its new funds to expand retail pilots of its platform and build out its technical team by acquiring AI specialist firm Impact Analytics.