Food redistribution platform Yume has raised $2 million as a Seed round as it looks to address food waste by connecting food manufacturers with surplus stock with businesses and charities that can use it.
The round was led by Investible via its Climate Tech Fund, Investible’s Early Stage Fund 2 and Club Investible syndicate, with support from LaunchVic, Goodrich Group, Veolia as well as angel investor Pitzy Folk and brings Yume’s total funding to $7 million.
The capital will be used to improve the Melbourne-based certified social enterprise’s tech capabilities ahead of international expansion plans, with plans to double the headcount in 2024, especially in the technology and product teams.
Yume was founded in 2016 by Katy Barfield, Yume, who set out to change the way food manufacturers handle excess inventory by digitising and automating the manual processes used for sales and donation,
The data gained from the platform allows manufacturers to boost revenue and minimise food waste. Meanwhile, over the past seven years, the Yume platform has redistributed nearly 8 million kilograms of surplus food from manufacturers, donated more than a million meals to charities and returned $22 million to companies who use the platform to commercialise surplus food. Its partners including Unilever, Kellanova (Kellogg’s) and Mars Food.
Barfield, the food waste reduction startup’s CEO, said Australian has a 7.6 million tonne yearly problem with food waste. She previously developed food rescue charity SecondBite, built with the support of the Atlassian Foundation.
“The amount of land used to grow wasted food in Australia covers more than 25 million hectares, a landmass larger than the state of Victoria,” she said.
“Yume was founded to eradicate this problem and our platform has grown rapidly as large food manufacturers have been able to utilise our technology to connect surplus food to Australian businesses and charities, reducing waste and increasing their revenue. This latest round of funding will support us as we invest in our technology and team to further push for a world without waste.”
The backing from Investible’s $100 million Climate Tech Fund means nearly half the investments (48%) made feature a female founding member, with 21% of the startups solely female-led.
Investible chief investment officer Charlie Ill said Yume appealed to many at Investible.
“Combine the ambitious and proven team with a massive market opportunity which has been validated by blue chip customers, we have the workings of a strong and impactful business” he said.
“On this basis, Investible has made a very high conviction investment, with members of our Club Investible group investing alongside our two Funds. Yume is backed by our network of over 180 experienced investors and business leaders, supporting the great work being done by Katy and her team”.