Copy
  PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER  23, 2021

A monthly report on news, insights, and trends in food waste activity and funding for capital providers and solution providers of all types.

Solution Provider Directory Update

We want to start this month’s Market Update by focusing our attention on the leaders doing the heavy lifting to fight food waste – solution providers. Their passion for the cause paired with the solutions they offer – ranging from innovative technologies or new business models to common-sense best practices that just need help getting off the ground – are what’s driving the food waste sector to new heights. Our goal is to bring in capital to fund these organizations from ideas to adoption, so if you or your portfolio companies are doing great work, please let us know! ReFED’s Solution Provider Directory features 850+ organizations (up from 700 at the start of the year) offering food waste solutions that are ready to be funded, partnered with, or implemented.

The Solution Provider Directory is a robust sample of the activity within the food waste space, allowing ReFED to make inferences about trends in innovation. Some highlights include: 

  • A majority of food waste solution providers are for-profit (setting aside the large quantity of small food banks / pantries), and most of them have 10 or less employees, suggesting that the industry is still quite young. These companies consist of early-stage startups looking to scale, as well as companies focused on more localized solutions.

  • The industry's youth is also reflected in the fact that 48% of organizations in the directory were founded in the last 10 years. 

  • Additionally, we see that food rescue as a category currently leads the food waste sector in numbers of organizations, comprising 44% of entries in the database, with prevention and recycling at 36% and 20%, respectively.

Visit the Solution Provider Directory
Sector Insights & Trends
  • Ever increasing funding rounds continue...

    • Both Apeel and Misfits Market have hit the $2B valuation mark this year. 

    • Within imperfect produce channels, we’re seeing a race to expand across the U.S. between Misfits and Imperfect Foods – which makes us wonder if an opportunistic funding round for Imperfect Foods is around the corner?

    • Imperfect produce channels have benefitted from changing consumer behavior, as many consumers shifted to online shopping during pandemic lockdowns, and many have remained there post-reopening; it’s worth noting that other imperfect delivery box companies around the world, such as OddBox in the U.K., also continue to get funding.

    • OLIO, the surplus food sharing app, has also raised $43M in a Series B round (post-money valuation of $130M) backed by traditional investors such as Accel. This funding will aid in its international expansion plans.

    • Key Takeaway: We view the growth of these organizations as a leading indicator of what is likely to come for the overall sector, and we expect to see the emergence of new success stories where fighting food waste also produces appealing financial returns. These higher valuations relative to a few years ago speak to the development of the industry, and we believe there is still runway for the food waste sector broadly, as only a select few solution types have drawn in significant capital (e.g., edible coatings, imperfect and surplus produce channels). 

  • Recycling is seeing established organizations reacting to changes related to food waste, and upstart organizations finding new ways to deal with the issue...

    • Grow Compost, a Vermont-based composter, was acquired by Casella this August in what appears to be a reactive acquisition. Vermont banned food scraps from landfills in 2020, which increased the need to find solutions to deal with organic waste. Grow Compost had been preparing for this change, while Casella sought to delay implementation of the law.

      • Casella has taken significant control of Vermont’s waste stream through this acquisition; they already owned the state’s only landfill.

    • Insect farming (feeding food waste to insects that will ultimately become food for livestock and pets) is starting to have its moment in the U.S. Beta Hatch has raised $10M to expand its farm in Cashmere, Washington, which should increase its output by ten times next year. Europe already has a large insect farming case study in Ÿnsect, which had a significant raise in 2019.  

    • Key Takeaway: We will continue to see consolidation or new business models in reaction to waste bans. Business buy-in (reluctant or not) should lead to more recycling and a systemwide reduction of food waste from going to landfill. Additionally, insect farming’s potential as a great circular solution for food waste is starting to be recognized in the US.

  • Celebrities showing interest in supporting food waste organizations…
    • Shelf Engine recently announced that it had a $2M extension to its $41M Series B announced in March, which includes Ellen DeGeneres, Portia de Rossi, Shaun White, and Shawn Mendes via PLUS Capital. 

    • In 2020, Apeel’s $250M round included Oprah Winfrey and Katy Perry as investors; Misfits Market has Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures as an investor since their 2020 Series B.

    • Key Takeaway: We are seeing growth in interest from celebrity investors in a way that both shines a light on the food waste industry and suggests that it has arrived as a topic within the popular consciousness.

Select Food Waste Organizations
Seeking Funding
Goodr
FOR PROFIT | ATLANTA, GA
Founder/CEO: Jasmine Crowe
Goodr is currently raising a Series A to support team growth, scale and introduce new products to the market.

Email alejandro.enamorado@refed.com for an introduction to Goodr.
Treasure8
FOR PROFIT | NAPA, CA
Founder & Co-CEOs: Timothy Childs & Derk Hendriksen
With a commercial pipeline with a number of large (CPG) players in advanced stages of development, Treasure8 is seeking investors for its $2M Convertible Note ahead of their Series B fundraising later this year or in early 2022. 

Email alejandro.enamorado@refed.com for an introduction to Treasure8.
Move For Hunger
NON-PROFIT | RED BANK, NJ
Co-Founder/CEO: Adam Lowy
Together with local partners, Move For Hunger is launching a new pilot project to increase access to fresh foods for communities experiencing food insecurity in Rhode Island. Move For Hunger is establishing a cold storage hub for 2,000-5,000 pounds of fresh seafood to be delivered weekly by local fisheries for distribution. $50,000 will support one-time construction costs for the hub, which can be used for years to come. 

Email alejandro.enamorado@refed.com for an introduction to Move for Hunger.
UC Davis Food Loss and Waste Collaborative
RESEARCH AND EDUCATION | DAVIS, CA
Associate Professor and Director: Edward "Ned" Spang
Seeking philanthropic partners who share their vision to develop innovative and evidence-based solutions that address this complex challenge. Individuals and companies can give online.

Email alejandro.enamorado@refed.com for an introduction to UC Davis Food Loss and Waste Collaborative.
View More Organizations Seeking Funding
Select Private Investments in Food Waste Reduction | August and September
View & Download Chart
Food Waste Capital & Innovation
News Highlights

Large venture financings continue:

Recycling activity is both reactive (for incumbents) and proactive (for upstarts):

Quietly, cold chain is consolidating:

What’s happening globally?

Interesting thought pieces:

Funding Opportunities
EPA Anaerobic Digestion Grant Opportunity
DEADLINE: OCTOBER 7, 2021
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking applications for projects from states, Tribes, territories, and non-profit organizations to help reduce food loss and waste and divert food waste from landfills by expanding anaerobic digester (AD) capacity in the United States. EPA anticipates awarding up to $2 million in total AD funding. Individual projects could be in the range of $50,000-$200,000 for the two-year funding period. Learn more.
The Circulars Accelerator ‘22 
DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 1, 2021
The Circulars Accelerator is an action-oriented, six-month accelerator program for early-to-growth-stage companies developing innovations towards a more circular economy. Benefits include: global platform, corporate investor engagement, 1:1 advisory connections, accelerator team support, and workshops. Learn more.
Walmart.org Healthier Food for All
OPEN APPLICATION
While food insecurity exists in all communities, Walmart.org seeks to fund organizations that have the capacity to administer sub-grants and build capacity across networks of organizations to scale proven strategies, test and evaluate place-based efforts or innovative approaches that could have the potential to scale in the future. To be eligible, programs must support underserved and food insecure households. Learn more.
Ways to Get Involved
Are you a Solution Provider? Partner with ReFED to Reduce Food Waste
OCTOBER 14, 2021
Tune in to our special Solution Provider webinar to learn how you can partner with ReFED, collaborate to improve data, and make the most of ReFED’s tools and resources to support your work. ReFED is committed to supporting food waste solution providers and scaling effective solutions that can reduce food waste. That’s why we’ve designed a comprehensive platform for solution providers from across the food system to leverage our support and grow their impact.
Learn More & Register
Announcing The Climate Corps® Food Waste Fellowship: An EDF-ReFED-Powered Initiative

ReFED is excited to announce that we’ve partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund to launch the Climate Corps® Food Waste Fellowship, an exciting opportunity for leading companies to have a dedicated, custom-matched graduate student to help advance their food waste reduction and climate goals in 2022. We consistently hear that having an additional resource in the form of a third-party expert individual can be catalytic towards advancing a strategic food waste initiative. To that end, we believe that the Climate Corps® Food Waste Fellowship will be a valuable resource for companies and encourage interested applicants to apply to be one of the first participating host companies in its inaugural year. Learn more.

Host Company Application
Fellow Application
Sponsor the ReFED 2022 Food Waste Solutions Summit

ReFED is very pleased to host the national gathering for the food waste movement and is ready to bring an amazing in-person meeting to your calendars. From May 10-12, 2022, the Food Waste Solutions Summit will be hosted in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It promises outstanding educational programs, as well as the opportunity to collaborate and meet with food waste heroes from across the food system and the nation. For more information on the coming Summit, please visit our website. We are actively seeking sponsors for this year's event, and we encourage you to reach out to Shawn Shepherd, Director of Development, at shawn.shepherd@refed.org
View Sponsorship Packages
Tackling the Food Waste Funding Gap: Financing food waste prevent to combat climate change
EVENT DATE: OCTOBER 7
Tune into the webinar on October 7, which is being co-hosted with the United Nations Environment Programme and P4G. You’ll hear about the business case for greater funding of food waste prevention initiatives, the barriers to investing and how to overcome them and discover how leveraging existing financial mechanisms can deliver food waste prevention strategies. International speakers include representatives from P4G, Rabobank, World Bank and United Nations Environment Programme.
Register here
Job Opportunities
Got Some Information to Share?
Email us at alejandro.enamorado@refed.org for inclusion in an upcoming Market Update. If you are currently fundraising, we would also like to hear from you.
LinkedIn LinkedIn
Twitter Twitter
Website Website
Share with Your Friends! Share with Your Friends!
Copyright © 2021 ReFED, Inc., All rights reserved.