The Swiss-based food-tech company founded in 2017 uses artificial intelligence to reduce food waste and help companies save money. Its devices, designed to fit any trash bin, consist of a weighing scale and cameras, using artificial intelligence to identify, track and monitor disposed food. With 80 devices already deployed in Switzerland, Germany, Brussels and Australia, the startup has run over 200 measurements to this day, enabling customers to minimise food waste by up to 60% and save up to 8% of their food profit margins. Thanks to the customer’s continued support, KITRO has recorded over 1 million in revenue.
“We see a massive shift in awareness and actions since covid. People are starting to prioritise long term sustainable development, especially in the hospitality industry that was crumbled through this pandemic and has to rebuild itself”, comments Naomi MacKenzie, Cofounder of KITRO.
The startup and its 14 employees have now obtained financial support of CHF 1.7 million to continue fighting against food waste. More than CHF 0.6 million comes from existing investors, new supporters including Quadia, a Geneva-based impact Fund and Miteinander, a renowned Gastro and Event company in Zürich. The Technology Fund, a political instrument from the Swiss government supporting innovative Swiss companies with a sustainable focus, also participated in the round.
KITRO’s contribution in mitigating food waste and altering the process in which the problem is tackled in commercial kitchens is what inspired the financial support, as revealed by MacKenzie. The proceeds will enable the startup to increase the product offering and grow the team to address its product’s growing demand. In addition to strengthening its position in the German market, the startup plans to accelerate its market entry in France and Austria.
Moving forward, KITRO has set an ambitious goal of becoming the front runner in measuring and mitigating food waste in the hospitality industry. The recently announced Series A of CHF 3.5 million, closing in Q2 of 2022, will allow it to pursue its plans. “Our goal at KITRO is to bring back the value of all food so that it is appreciated and not wasted. The recent response on the market to take action and responsibility to tackle food waste is driving KITRO’s growth. We are excited to maximise the impact we can have when it comes to food waste reduction and to capture numbers supporting and ensuring the SDG 12.3 goal to half food waste by 2030 is met”, says MacKenzie.
(Ritah Ayebare Nyakato)