Colorado Springs' FoodMaven Lands $8.6 Million Series A
The startup received financing from Wal-Mart's billionaire heirs, the Walton Family
Local startup FoodMaven completed an $8.6 million Series A funding round, receiving a capital infusion from Walton Enterprises, the family office for the billionaire heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune. This follows news of former Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb investing in the young company and taking a board seat.
FoodMaven, a for-profit operation officially launched in summer 2016, is firmly focused on curbing food waste. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Ark., is working to reduce its own surplus of rejected food, as the largest seller of groceries in the country. An estimated $200 billion worth of food is wasted in the U.S. annually, largely the result of an antiquated food system, according to Patrick Bultema, CEO of the company.
Thus, FoodMaven serves as a middle man, capturing unused, but viable food products, consigning them, warehousing, selling and delivering the goods on the marketplace for deep discounts. Customers, of which there are more than 700 in Colorado, can peruse FoodMaven's inventory and buy what they need, and the startup splits the revenues with the original supplier.
Customers include hospitals, schools, senior centers and restaurants, including the Wild Goose Meeting House, buying up products such as cosmetically flawed heads of lettuce or unusually shaped oranges.
Whatever goes unsold is donated to charities, pet food companies and pig farms, with the objective of achieving zero waste.
FoodMaven anticipates sales of nearly $10 million this year in Colorado and the company aims to add another 50-plus cities in the next five years.