Of all the problems plaguing our world right now, there’s one that we can and do seem to be getting a handle on: Food Waste. Yes, we are nowhere near conquering the problem (Americans waste 150,000 tons of food each day), but there are so many energetic startups tackling the issue that you can’t help but feel hopeful.
Adding to the global ranks of those fighting food waste is Phenix, a French startup that just raised €15 million ($17 million USD). EU Startups reports the money came from ETF Partners, Bpifrance, Sofiouest and Arkéa.
Phenix diverts unsold food headed for a landfill to alternative places/uses such as charities, animal feed or recycling. According to its website, Phenix uses a combination of staff training to implement anti-waste best practices, as well as a web platform to identify available recipients for various food items.
Finding a place for food before it becomes waste is a hot area, which makes sense as you aren’t trying to build a new technology from the ground up or change consumer behavior. Instead, Phenix, and companies like Goodr, Copia and Spoiler Alert are making existing supply chains more open and efficient to get food where it’s needed most.
The Phenix funding tops off a pretty good week in the fight against waste. Earlier this week, Tenzo raised $1.8 million for its AI platform that helps reduce restaurant waste, and in Sweden, Karma teamed up with Electrolux to install special smart fridges that sell food that would otherwise be tossed out.
We still have a long way to go, but it all adds up to give us a bit of hope. Which counts for a lot these days.