SAN FRANCISCO, July 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Afresh Technologies, the first artificial intelligence-powered fresh food optimization platform for grocers, announced today a new $12 million Series A follow-on round of funding. Afresh's cutting-edge AI solutions give grocers an easier and more accurate way to manage fresh food orders, inventory, and merchandising. Grocers using Afresh have already proven that Afresh helps increase fresh food sales by 3%, reduce in-store food waste by up to 50%, and increase fresh gross margin by 4 percentage points. The round, which brings the company's total amount raised to $20 million, was led by returning investor Innovation Endeavors with participation from Food Retail Ventures, Maersk Growth, Impact Engine, and existing investor Baseline Ventures. This new funding will allow Afresh to accelerate bringing its groundbreaking technology to more grocery partners.
"Grocery stores are the cornerstones of our communities. The current pandemic has re-confirmed the critical role grocers play in our lives. More than ever, these businesses need smart, practical ways to keep stores stocked with fresh, nutritious food, to empower frontline workers, and to run operations in a sustainable and profitable way," said Matt Schwartz, CEO and co-founder of Afresh. "Our technologies make it easier for grocers to manage all aspects of their fresh departments, and, in doing so, dramatically expand their profitability by preventing millions and millions of pounds of food waste. We're excited to use this new funding to bring Afresh to more grocers across the country and around the world."
"In my twenty years running grocery businesses for Tesco, Carrefour, and Ahold USA, I have honestly never seen a tool that is so easy for the store teams to use for fresh food ordering," said James McCann, Chairman and CEO of Food Retail Ventures and former CEO of Ahold USA. "The KPIs they are delivering are truly game changing. I am excited that this new investment will allow Afresh to support more grocers in the coming months and help us reduce food waste across the US."
Grocers successfully merchandise and sell hundreds of billions of dollars of fresh food every year--an incredible feat. Yet, for decades, consistently optimizing fresh food operations, handling, and merchandising has remained an elusive goal for the industry. Critical processes, such as in-store ordering, are often performed with systems originally built for non-perishables or guided manually.
All of this costs grocers a tremendous amount of time and energy and produces significant food waste, lost profits, and missed opportunity. In fact, inefficiencies in the fresh food supply chain lead to tens of billions of dollars in fresh food waste every year in the U.S. grocery industry alone1. Getting fresh management right will have big impacts for grocers; according to IRI2, about 40% of food and beverage revenue in grocery stores comes from fresh departments.
Afresh is the only modern fresh food (produce, meat, seafood, bakery, food service) optimization company that has developed AI-powered merchandising, ordering, and store operations solutions that significantly reduce food waste, increase food freshness, accelerate stock turns, and improve grocers' top and bottom lines. Front-line staff on the grocery store floor access Afresh's applications through an AI-powered app that runs on mobile devices. In partnership with its multiple U.S. grocery customers, Afresh is already used to order billions of dollars of fresh food annually.
About Afresh® Technologies
Afresh Technologies develops A.I.-powered solutions that optimize merchandising, ordering, and operations for all fresh departments. Afresh significantly reduces food waste, improves its partners' profitability, and makes fresher, healthier food more accessible to all. One third of all food is thrown away each year—Afresh is addressing this enormous problem which leads to expensive losses for grocers and significant impact to the environment. Its groundbreaking technology has resulted in up to a 50% reduction of in-store food waste. Afresh is a Series A startup based in San Francisco that was founded by Matt Schwartz, Nathan Fenner, and Volodymyr Kuleshov. The company came together when they were graduate students at Stanford and was founded as a company in early 2017. Learn more at www.afreshtechnologies.com.
1 ReFED "Retail Food Waste Action Guide," 2018
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SOURCE Afresh Technologies