Food waste is a global issue, and every chef faces this problem too. Determining the right amount of food inventory is an ideal use case for artificial intelligence. Winnow has built the AI-powered platform of tools to help the hospitality market operate more sustainable kitchens and cut food waste in half. Winnow has collectively helped save chefs over $33M annually in reduced food purchasing costs. Winnow has been adopted by major retailers such as IKEA and currently operates in 40 countries.
London TechWatch spoke with Marc Zornes to learn about the company’s growth, future plans, and recent funding round, which brings its total funding to $31.6M across five rounds.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
Series B, a total of $12M led by Mustard Seed and Ingka Investments. Other investors included Ingenious, Circularity Capital and D-Ax.
Winnow builds artificial intelligence tools to help chefs run more profitable and sustainable kitchens by cutting food waste in half.
What inspired you to start Winnow?
I was a top-rated McKinsey Engagement Manager and I co-authored a report on Resource Revolution, where my team highlighted the global issue of food waste. In 2013, I founded Winnow with Kevin Duffy.
How is Winnow different?
Winnow builds artificial intelligence tools which surpass human intelligence.
What market is Winnow targeting and how big is it?
The hospitality market mainly, larger-scale – collectively we have saved chefs over $33M a year in reduced food purchasing costs. Whilst we’re proud of these achievements we’re just getting started. We’ve set ourselves a target to save the hospitality industry $1B worth of food per year by 2025.
What’s your business model?
Winnow operates as a SaaS (software as a service). Our business model works by offering a service package tailored to each individual business, depending on variables including the size of the company. Typically, we would expect to deliver between 2-10x ROI for our clients via reduced food costs achieved by reducing wastage.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Krister Mattsson, Managing Director of Ingka Investments states, “Winnow has been a strong partner on our journey to reducing food waste in our IKEA stores by 50% by 2020. This investment supports growth and creates new opportunities to further accelerate the positive impact of food waste prevention. We are focused to increase the use of digital tools and analytics to both create the IKEA store of tomorrow”
Winnow has been a strong partner on our journey to reducing food waste in our IKEA stores by 50% by 2020.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
The $12M equity raise capital will be used to accelerate our technology development and drive global growth.