FOOD WASTE STARTUP GETS FUNDING

Swedish start-up Karma has received $12 million in Series A funding. The technology helps to reduce food waste by creating a platform through which consumers can purchase unsold food directly from stores and restaurants at a discounted price.

The app allows both the customer to bag a bargain while allowing retailers the chance to make money out of otherwise unwanted food. The food is sold for half the price or sometimes less and allows the retailers to gain potential new customers.

Started in 2016, Karma currently has over 350,000 users and is associated with 1,500 restaurants, hotels, cafes and supermarkets across Sweden. The app was also released in the UK early this year and has already expanded to include over 400 retailers. The additional funding will help Karma to increase its partnerships with supermarkets, an industry the company wants to grow into, and venture the technology into more overseas markets, particularly Europe. Karma also hopes to increase its staff from 35 to 150 within the next two years.

Karma CEO, Hjalmar Ståhlberg Nordegren is said to be thrilled with its three new top-tier investors.

“Karma has known the team at Kinnevik for a long time, and they have the long-term perspective and operational expertise that we were looking for in partners. We are also delighted to be working Bessemer and Electrolux who bring unparalleled expertise in their respective fields.”

Major investors Kinnevik, Bessemer Venture Partners and Electrolux lead the round of funding stating that they were all impressed with the company’s mission to reduce food waste.

“As a world leader in appliances, Electrolux is working closely with Karma to help alleviate the global problem of food waste. We’re impressed with Karma’s innovative digital business model particularly as everyone wins: both the food seller and buyer but importantly also the environment,” explained Marty Carroll of Electrolux.

Andreas Bernström, investment director at Kinnevik, added: “We are huge believers in their mission and have been truly impressed by what they have achieved so far.”