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17 November 2018

Why European Investors Love Food Waste Startups So Much—Explained

A quarter of the global water supply is lost due to food waste, a cost of $172 billion dollars annually that no one wants to pay. This makes food waste one of the biggest issues of our time, hand in hand with climate change, the rise of authoritarian governments and cybersecurity.

Not only the food gets lost, but all the resources used into growing it like: 19 percent of the fertilizer, 18 percent of the land, 21 percent of landfill volume, and most importantly 21 percent of our freshwater. These are resounding facts that fall short when we include the heavy carbon footprint that this phenomenon also has.

Knowing that ⅓ of all the food we produce goes to waste, many interesting proposals have found its voice, startups like Paris-based Phenix are taking a big problem and transforming it into a complete industry using technological innovations. These new players want to reduce the impact that food waste causes in our society and our environment.

ETF Partners and many other contributors have become completely interested in these projects. That is why they just granted an investment round of €15 million to Phenix, funds that will be used to boost its internal development, explore new frontiers and expand their activities.

“This investment shows the full potential of Phenix within the ecosystem of waste management, and gives us the means to expand our presence in France and abroad.” Said Jean Moreau, co-founder and CEO of Phenix.

The formula behind Phenix is their business model, that uses food waste and looks for its best value option, whether by donation to charity, feeding animals on shelters or by recycling it. Founded in 2014, their goal is to find an effective and organic alternative to incineration.

Food waste is a huge challenge that can be seen in plain sight, many companies like Food Maven, ReGrained and Goodr are getting lots of financial options by international investors that see this industry as a big profitable solution that cannot be ignored. To put it on perspective, just in 2018 food waste startups received more than $125 million from venture capital firms worldwide.

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