Winnow Solutions secures £9.29 million Series B equity finance led by Ingka Investments (Ikea)

Winnow accelerates its global roll out in the hospitality industry with a successful Series B fundraising. The $20m round includes commitments from Ingka Investments (Ikea)* in addition to a scale up in commitments from existing investors, including Circularity Capital and a $8m loan from The European Investment Bank (EIB).

Winnow, the technology company behind Winnow Vision, the artificial intelligence tool helping chefs cut food waste in half, is announcing the completion of its series B round of funding at a total of $20m.

The series B round included high-profile investment from Ingka Investments, Mustard Seed, Circularity Capital, D: Ax and The Ingenious Group. Winnow co-founder and CEO Marc Zornes 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, with one strategic partner of the investor group Ingka Investments using Winnow on a daily basis across IKEA stores globally. This year we launched our ground-breaking AI product Winnow Vision, and chefs using Winnow around the world are saving $33m worth of food from going to waste annually. We have set a target to save our customers $1bn by 2025, and this investment will accelerate our technology development and business development approach to help achieve this ambition.

Launched in a single staff restaurant 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.

Winnow’s latest AI product Winnow Vision, the most advanced food waste technology on the market, has been developed to automate waste tracking, enabling chefs to run more profitable and sustainable kitchens. With global clients already adopting Winnow Vision, from IKEA stores through to the Armani Hotel in Dubai, the demand by companies to drive down food waste in 2019 is increasing. Kitchens using Winnow tend to see a 40-70% reduction in food waste within 6-12 months, driving food cost savings between 2-8% in total, which improves profit margins whilst doing the right thing.

Winnow Vision works by taking photos of wasted food as it’s thrown away, and uses the images to train itself to recognise what has been discarded. Winnow’s systems have already reached and surpassed human levels of accuracy in identifying wasted foods. This means for clients, over time, these systems will enable kitchens to automatically register food waste without any human interaction. Food will be thrown in the bin and the data will be captured automatically.

Krister Mattsson, Managing Director of Ingka Investments added, ‘Winnow has been a strong partner on our journey, to reduce food waste in our IKEA stores by 50% by 2020. 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.’

Jamie Butterworth Partner of Circularity Capital noted, ‘We are delighted to have supported the funding round and maintain our strong relationship with Winnow. We believe strongly in the strength of their technology and its role in accelerating the transition to a circular economy’.

About Ingka Group

Ingka Group (Ingka Holding B.V. and its controlled entities) is one of 11 different groups of companies that own and operate IKEA retail under franchise agreements with Inter IKEA Systems B.V. Ingka

Group has three business areas: IKEA Retail, Ingka Investments and Ingka Centres. Ingka Group is a strategic partner in the IKEA franchise system, operating 367 IKEA stores in 30 countries. These IKEA stores had 838 million visits during FY18 and 2.35 billion visits to www.IKEA.com. Ingka Group operates business under the IKEA vision – to create a better everyday life for the many people by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible can afford it.

Manoj Ranaweera

Manoj has founded, failed and successfully exited from a number of technology product companies as well as support organisations since 2004. Among them, Northern Tech Awards and edocr.com were acquired by GP Bullhound and Accusoft, Inc respectively. Today, Manoj is building a trusted support network for technology companies. He is working with founding teams to help them accelerate including raising investment and M&A.