Israeli dynamic pricing startup Wasteless has closed a $2 million financing round led by Dutch venture capital fund Slingshot Ventures. The company has raised $400,000 to date from private investors. The money raised will be used to continue development of the product, recruit R&D employees, and expanding Wasteless's marketing and market penetration efforts.
Wasteless has developed dynamic pricing technology that automatically cuts the price of products on the shelf when their expiry date is approaching. The price of a product is determined by a machine learning system that accumulates a large volume of knowledge from all the supermarkets of the participating chains. In addition to the technology's consumer value, the system increases the chains' sales, while simultaneously significantly reducing the amount of food thrown away.
Wasteless is now about to begin a project for installing its system at 900 branches of the Island UK supermarket chain. The company recently completed a pilot project at a supermarket chain in Spain. Figures from the project show that the system increased the chain's revenue by 6.3% and reducing the amount of trash produced by the chain by a third. The pilot was part of scientific research led by Prof. Robert Sanders at the University of California at San Diego.
Figures from the EU show that one third of the food produced is thrown away at the cost of €65 billion just in the EU, with a negative effect on global warning and access to food and resources.
Wasteless cofounder and CEO Oded Omer told "Globes" that the technology developed was arousing great interest in Europe due to high awareness of environmental protection and prevention of food wastage, as reflected in supporting regulation. "We are about to submit our candidacy for several global grants amounting to tens of millions of dollars, such as a $15 million budget in the Horizon 2020 Project, in which we are part of a five-company consortium," he said.
According to Omer, the struggle against food wastage is an expanding sector in which Wasteless's technology exactly meets the needs. "We're dealing with waste and can say that that everything now known about food wastage is incorrect. The figures are much greater. It's a scandal how much food we're throwing away. We make it possible to take garbage that harms the environment and turn it into money for investors, with an advantage in purchasing power for consumers and less effort spent on garbage handing for supermarkets."
Wasteless's dynamic pricing algorithm set product prices based on variables such as remaining inventory, brand strength, orders and sales volume, store location, socioeconomic status of customers, etc. The prices, which are displayed on electronic screens attached to the shelves on the chains' shelves and e-commerce websites, are automatically updated. Dynamic pricing is an accepted procedure in sectors such as passenger flights and hotels, but technical limitations have hitherto prevented its use in the retail sector.
Wasteless cofounder and CMO Ben Biron says, "Without a doubt, the most enjoyable experience during the pilot was watching consumers, both baby boomers and millennials, come to the supermarket and make more aware and judicious buying decisions to the same degree because of Wasteless's pricing. We encourage consumers to be better citizens of the world, and to take part in the war against food wastage, while at the same time enjoying more attractive prices."
Omer and Biron founded the company together with CTO Yossi Regev in 2016. All three of them formerly worked at big data beverages company WeissBeerger, acquired in 2017 by Anheuser Busch InBev. Wasteless has 15 employees in its offices in Amsterdam and Tel Aviv, and will soon open offices in New York.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 9, 2018
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