American foodtech startup Afresh raises US$13m in funding round led by Food Retail Ventures

US – American food-tech startup Afresh has raised US$13million in a series A extension extension funding led by Food Retail Ventures, a private equity firm that invests in early stage food and retail technology companies.

According to a report by TechCrunch, existing investors such Innovation Endeavors, Maersk Growth, and Baseline Ventures also participated in the US$13 million investment round.

San Francisco-based Afresh is the owner of what it claims to be the first artificial intelligence-powered fresh food optimization platform for grocers.

 The startup says that its AI-driven solutions reportedly enable grocers to optimise merchandising, ordering and operations for fresh food departments.

The company claims that on average, stores using Afresh reduce food waste by 25% or more and see 2-4% top line revenue growth.

While announcing its latest funding, Afresh also noted that grocery industry veteran James McCann, CEO of Food Retail Ventures and former CEO of Ahold USA, was also joining its Board of Directors as a member.

Commenting on the developments at the startup, James McCann said: “I believe that the fresh ordering technology that Afresh has pioneered is set to become one of the most important technologies in food retail.”

“The improvements to freshness, sales, shrink, labour and, as a consequence, profitability, are truly transformational and every grocery store around the world — large and small — should be using Afresh.”

Afresh has seen tremendous growth over the past year with several major customers either adding or expanding their use of Afresh.

As a result of the tremendous growth, Afresh says that its employee size doubled from 2019 to 2020 and projects that its workforce will double again in 2021.

The company says that it will be expanding the product across more Fresh functions in the coming months, and will eventually support critical functions across supply chain, store operations, and merchandising for all fresh categories.

 “This new capital will enable us to grow faster and bigger in 2021, thereby accelerating our mission of reducing food waste while making fresh, nutritious food accessible to all,” said Matt Schwartz, CEO and co-founder of Afresh.

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