Olio, the hyperlocal food sharing app that desires to assist take on the global’s food waste epidemic, has picked up $6 million in Series A investment.
The U.Okay. startup gives a location-based app and web site that lets you listing and submit a photograph of unwanted food items to be shared with folks in the identical neighbourhood. That is, food that you would possibly differently throw away.
The corporate, Olio co-founder and CEO Tessa Clarke instructed me in a decision previous this week, was once born out of the concept that a bottom-up, group manner — pushed by means of person behaviour — is the maximum scalable method to minimize down on the quantity of food families usually waste. She says a few 3rd of food manufacturing is thrown away and/or allowed to perish, which most commonly ends up in landfill, and that food in the house represents about part of this.
The startup is helping companies take on the downside, too. Dubbed the “Food Waste Heroes Programme,” Olio is enabling corporations, comparable to shops or the ones running occasions and company canteens, to utilise the Olio platform and group to transform “zero food waste” organisations.
This sees corporations charged a rate and in go back Olio will dispatch its 1000’s of volunteers, who’ve been vetted and are educated in food hygiene, to return to their retail outlets or retailers and gather unwanted food items. The volunteers then and listing the items on the app and be offering themselves up as hyperlocal assortment issues. Most items are made to be had for sharing and picked up/allotted in only a few hours.
Clarke says the startup may be exploring the chance of shifting to a top class style, the place the maximum lively customers of the platform pay for a subscription that provides them get entry to to further value-add options. The Holy Grail of hyperlocal promoting is an untapped alternative, too, given that the app already boasts over part one million customers.
What is maximum placing when listening to the Olio co-founder discuss the younger corporate is how mission-driven she, her workforce and the app’s group are. That’s as a result of now not most effective is food waste a pricey downside — over $1 trillion in line with 12 months, it seems that — however the environmental dent food manufacturing and distribution makes is very large, whilst a rising inhabitants approach that food shortages will realistically transform a subject in the long term. Factor in that Olio can and, to a definite extent, already helps to relieve food poverty, and it’s simple to grasp why.
I additionally wondered Clarke on Olio’s reliance on volunteers and she or he mentioned that the corporate lately receives way more volunteer packages than it could procedure. More widely, since the time spent being lively on the platform is not likely to translate right into a full-time process, because it most effective works by means of being very allotted and last steadfastly hyperlocal. Volunteers additionally get to stay up to 10 p.c of the food they gather.
Meanwhile, Olio’s Series A spherical was once led by means of Octopus Ventures, with present buyers together with Accel, Quadia, and Quentin Griffiths (co-founder of ASOS & Achica) following on. Other new buyers becoming a member of Octopus come with Lord Waheed Alli’s Silvergate Investments 2, Bran Investments, Julien Codorniou (Facebook) and Jason Stockwood (Match.com, Simply Business).