Afresh, the leading AI-powered fresh food technology provider, today announced a $115 million Series B funding round led by Spark Capital and with participation from Insight Partners, VMG Partners and Bright Pixel Capital. Walter Robb, senior executive partner at S2G Ventures and former co-CEO of Whole Foods Market also joins the round. All prior investors, including Maersk Growth, High Sage and Innovation Endeavors also participated in the round, bringing the company’s total funding to $148 million.
“Food, more so than anything else, shapes the health of people and our planet. We founded Afresh with the purpose of eliminating food waste and making nutritious food more accessible. We’re thrilled to use this capital to expand the scale and scope of our Fresh Operating System,” said Matt Schwartz, co-founder and CEO of Afresh.
Afresh will use the investment to scale across thousands more stores and expand the footprint of its Fresh Operating System, an efficient, flexible solution for forecasting, inventory, ordering and store operations, to support new fresh categories like meat and bakery. The funding will also be used to grow Afresh’s team and expand internationally to Europe.
Aiming to serve 10 percent of U.S. grocery stores by the end of 2022, Afresh tripled its customer base in 2021, signing regional chains like CUB and national chains like Albertsons, with plans to roll out to more than 2,300 Albertsons stores by the end of 2022. On average, stores using Afresh reduce food waste by 25 percent or more. They also see a 2-4 percent increase in top-line revenue growth and have a 40 percent or more increase to their produce operating margin.
“The transformative results that Afresh provides are not only seen in grocers’ bottom lines but also extend to the impact on our planet through the reduction of food waste,” said Will Reed, General Partner at Spark Capital. “We’re proud to support Afresh through their next stage of growth as they continue on their mission to curb climate change and improve our ability to feed the world in healthy ways.”
Afresh’s mission is to eliminate fresh food waste and increase access for all. Food waste is an enormous problem in the U.S. and worldwide and studies have shown that about 40 percent of all food in the U.S. is thrown away. Project Drawdown cites reducing food waste as the number one lever to curb climate change. Afresh is on track to help retailers save 34 million pounds of food waste by the end of 2022.
“Afresh is building a tool for the modern age that not only helps grocers manage fresh categories more effectively but also cuts down on food waste at the retail level, which amounts to 30-35 percent wasted annually,” said Robb. “Additionally, I was impressed by how closely Afresh partners with store teams to ensure its technology is not only easy but empowering to use, effectively enabling grocers to serve the freshest food to their customers.”