The parent company of Ikea has invested in food technology firm Winnow as part of its effort to reduce food waste across all of its stores.
Ingka Group has invested a combined £9m ($12) alongside Mustard Seed as part of Winnows second round of fundraising, raising the technology businesses total to £15.5m ($20m).
Managing director of Ingka Investments, Krister Mattsson, said: “Winnow has been a strong partner on our journey to reducing 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.”
Winnow’s core product, Winnow Vision, is an artificial intelligence tool that allows chefs to reduce food waste produced in their kitchens.
The company’s technology works by photographing food waste and training its artificial intelligence to recognise food as it’s thrown away.
According to Winnow, kitchens using their technology see a 40-70% reduction in food waste within the first 6-12 months using the product, improving profit margins and boosting sustainability.
On the second round of investment, Winnow co-founder and CEO, Marc Zornes said: “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.
“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 of food waste by 2025, and this investment will accelerate our technology development and business development approach to help achieve this ambition.”