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Winnow raises $7.4m growth capital to scale up global fight against food waste in commercial kitchens

Posted by David Jackson / 23-Oct-2017

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We are pleased to announce the completion of our most recent funding round. Already trusted by chefs in 29 countries, this investment will help us take Winnow to the next level in terms of product development and international reach. We are excited to share the full press release below:

Winnow raises $7.4m growth capital to scale up global fight against food waste in commercial kitchens

London based Winnow primed to scale food waste measurement technology internationally following growth capital round co-led by Circularity Capital, Mustard Seed and D-Ax.

Winnow, the technology company behind the Winnow Waste Monitor, which helps chefs cut food waste in half by automatically recording what gets thrown away, is announcing the completion of its growth capital funding of $7.4m.

Investors were attracted by Winnow’s rapid growth and sustainable vision for the hospitality sector where food waste costs kitchens between 5%-20% of all food purchased - an enormous financial cost not to mention the environmental impact. Winnow customers typically see food waste cut in half within 12 months from installation, reducing food purchasing costs by 3%-8%.

David Mowat, co-founding partner of Circularity Capital, said “This is a great fit with our focus on the circular economy as a lens to invest and create value. Globally we throw away an estimated $1trillion worth of food each year. Just focusing on hospitality, that’s a $100bn market opportunity. Winnow has developed a highly effective preventative solution, has the right management team and has proven its ability to deliver value for its rapidly growing blue-chip client base. We are looking forward to working closely with Winnow’s management to support the delivery of its continued international roll out”.

Winnow has shown impressive growth since launch in 2013 and now has operations in 29 countries working with thousands of chefs and cooks to reduce food waste. The funding will be used to accelerate growth within Winnow’s existing customers, build international capabilities to further broaden their customer base and continue their technology development road map.

The technology is being used internationally with global hospitality brands likeIKEA, Compass Group, AccorHotels and Costa Cruises rolling out the Winnow Waste Monitor at scale. Food waste has been a hot topic recently, and Winnow has also won the support of campaigners like celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall who described Winnow as “A no-brainer for the hospitality industry.”

Marc Zornes, Winnow co-founder and CEO says “This fundraising announcement is a key milestone in our journey and validation that our technology is driving real value for our clients. The hospitality sector is quickly waking up to the opportunity that food waste presents. We are encouraged by some of our biggest clients now having the confidence to make public commitments to reduce food waste, and we expect the rest of the industry to follow suit doing the right thing for their businesses and for the planet.”

Whilst the business case is clear there is also a significant environmental benefit in reducing waste. Winnow estimates its clients are saving 4,300 tonnes of food waste annually through the use of the Winnow system - the equivalent of over 10,000,000 meals every year or one meal every three seconds.

Henry Wigan, co-founder at impact investors Mustard Seed says, “We believe in backing businesses with purpose at Mustard Seed. As an early stage investor, we’ve been with Winnow since their seed round and are encouraged by the traction they’ve built with several market leaders. We expect to see the wider hospitality industry to accelerate the adoption of digital tools to measure and reduce food waste given the significant benefits others are already seeing, both in terms of sustainability and profitability.”

Winnow’s technology is being used in over 600 kitchens worldwide, saving over 19,000 tonnes of CO2E emissions a year - the equivalent of taking over 4,000 cars off the road.

We believe that Winnow would add value in almost every professional kitchen worldwide, and we are excited to see how the team continues to innovate, bringing market leading solutions to the hospitality industry” says Louise Hagen, D-Ax, Axel Johnson’s arm for investments in digital growth companies.

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