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Yume secures additional funding to expand its fight against food waste

Tech start-up Yume has announced that it has secured AU$2 million in funding led by Asia-Pacific based VC firm Investible, bringing the total funding food the redistribution platform, that prevents food waste by connecting surplus food from manufacturers to businesses and charities that can use it, to AUD$7 million.

Yume plans to use the additional funding to cement its position in Australia and make preparations for a potential international expansion. It is also set to double its headcount by the end of 2024 with 75 per cent of this growth to be focused on technology and product teams.

Founded in 2016 by serial entrepreneur Katy Barfield OAM (pictured), Yume digitises and automates the traditional manual processes used for sales and donation. It allows manufacturers to automate workflows, while also providing powerful data that allows them to boost revenue and minimise food waste.

Alongside its partners including Unilever, Kellanova (Kellogg’s) and Mars Food and Nutrition, Yume is also pioneering new standards for inventory clearance and donations. The platform has redistributed almost eight million kilograms of surplus food from manufacturers to other businesses and charities, allowing it to return over $22 million to leading companies who use the platform to commercialise surplus food and has donated over one million meals to charities.

“Australia has a food waste problem, in fact, it’s a 7.6 million tonne problem,” Barfield said. “The amount of land used to grow wasted food in Australia covers more than 25 million hectares, a landmass larger than the state of Victoria.

“Yume was founded to eradicate this problem and our platform has grown rapidly as large food manufacturers have been able to utilise our technology to connect surplus food to Australian businesses and charities, reducing waste and increasing their revenue,” Barfield added. “This latest round of funding will support us as we invest in our technology and team to further push for a world without waste.”

Yume is the latest tech start-up to join Investible’s Climate Tech Fund, a dedicated early-stage VC fund that invests in founders who are creating high-growth technology-enabled companies with a positive climate impact. Being a female-led company is a good fit for Investible, as 48 per cent of their Climate Tech Fund portfolio including companies with a female founding member and 21 per cent being solely led by women.

This funding round also marks a first for Investible, with three of the VC firm’s vehicles investing together in the company. Investible’s Early Stage Fund 2 and Club Investible syndicate joined the Investible Climate Tech Fund to fill out this round.

“Combine the ambitious and proven team with a massive market opportunity which has been validated by blue chip customers, we have the workings of a strong and impactful business,” Charlie Ill, Chief Investment Officer at Investible, said. “On this basis, Investible has made a very high conviction investment, with members of our Club Investible group investing alongside our two funds. Yume is backed by our network of over 180 experienced investors and business leaders, supporting the great work being done by Katy and her team.”

This story was originally published on Inside Small Business.

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