UK – Winnow, the London-based startup that provides solutions to help commercial kitchens reduce food waste, has raised US$12 million in series B funding to help the company scale up its solutions.

The funding round counted high-profile investment from Ingka Group, a strategic partner to the IKEA franchisee system, Mustard Seed, Circularity Capital, D-Ax and The Ingenious Group.

This latest funding round follows a recent US$8 million credit facility that the company secured from The European Investment Bank (EIB) to improve food management through its software and hardware solutions.

Winnow has developed a solution that enables commercial kitchens realize 40-70% reduction in food waste within 6-12 months, which accruing to the company results to food cost savings between 2-8% in total.

The company’s latest Winnow Vision product automates waste tracking by using computer vision to track what food is being discarded and therefore enabling kitchens to make better inventory decisions.

Winnow claims its systems have already reached and even surpassed human levels of accuracy in identifying wasted foods.

“This means for clients, over time, these systems will enable their kitchens to automatically register food waste without any human interaction. Food will be thrown in the bin and the data will be captured automatically,” the company says.

Marc Zornes, Winnow co-founder and CEO says: “We are very excited about driving the business forward in our global fight against food waste and we are grateful for the continuous support of our investors.

“This year, we launched our ground-breaking AI product Winnow Vision, and chefs using Winnow around the world are saving US$33 million worth of food from going to waste annually.

“We have set a target to save our customers US$1 billion of food waste by 2025, and this investment will accelerate our technology development and business development approach to help achieve this ambition.”

Zornes said Winnow will use the new cash injection to further improve its technology and focus on “doubling down” on product development.

“Winnow has been a strong partner on our journey to reducing food waste in our IKEA stores by 50% by 2020,” said Krister Mattsson, Managing Director of Ingka Investments.

“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 and to deliver on IKEA’s sustainability ambition.”

Launched in 2013, Winnow has been adopted by more than 1,000 sites globally and is now operating in 40 countries with offices in London, Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai, Cluj-Napoca and Iowa City.