[24 January/AgFunder]

Food Maven, a Colorado based food waste recapturing start-up, has completed a USD10 million bridge financing round with Tao Capital Partners and members of the Walton Family. Earlier investors include former Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb, who joined FoodMaven the day after Amazon dismantled Whole Foods’ board. FoodMaven sells high-quality local, oversupplied and imperfect food from distributors, manufacturers and producers to restaurants and institutional kitchens at a significant discount through an online marketplace. They want to change the perception of the 40% of food that goes uneaten each year. Instead of describing it as food waste, FoodMaven wants people to think about it as lost food. As no one wants to buy food waste. Chairman, Founder and CEO, Patrick Bultema, said it has taken time to deliver this message at the restaurant level. The funding will be used to fund a rapid expansion campaign as it gears up for a USD50 to USD70 million Series B round early in the second quarter of this year, according to Mr Bultema. The expansion strategy primarily involves making bolt on acquisitions of mid-tier food distributors as existing food distribution centres provides better speed-to-market.  FoodMavin is also investing heavily in technology. Food waste technologies have caught VCs’ attention to help detect spoliation in food before it’s too late.