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AI-powered food waste reduction startup AIPERIA raises €7.5M funding

AI-powered food waste reduction startup AIPERIA raises €7.5M funding

Würzburg-based AIPERIA, a company specialising in AI-powered demand planning for fresh food, has closed a successful €7.5 million Series A funding round.

The investment, led by Europe’s leading impact investor ETF Partners and LBBW VC, alongside existing investor Earlybird Venture Capital and a consortium of angel investors, will help in AIPERIA’s international expansion and further development of its technology aimed at tackling food waste in the fresh food sector.

Last month, we reported about Irish startup MyGu, which raised €900K to convert food waste into renewable energy. Moreover, In the same line, UK-based Mondra also secured £3.6M to help achieve net-zero food system with AI.

What problem is AIPERIA trying to solve

Food waste in Europe is a major issue, with poor planning leading to a staggering €13 billion loss in retail sales and 32 million tons of CO2 emissions annually. That’s more CO2 than all of Denmark produces! To combat this problem, European governments are pushing for significant reductions in food waste. 

Additionally, rising inflation is putting a strain on supplier profits. The answer lies in better forecasting. With accurate predictions of demand, retailers and suppliers can avoid excess inventory and boost their bottom lines, all while reducing their environmental impact. AIPERIA’s technology addresses this issue by providing retailers and suppliers with a solution to optimise fresh food ordering and reduce waste.

Franz Seubert, AIPERIA CEO and co-founder said, “Over the past three years, we have established ourselves as the leading planning solution for fresh food in the German-speaking market. We are now ready to roll out the technology in new and international markets to further increase our vital, sustainable impact. With this investment, we now have the necessary resources and are looking forward to the journey ahead.”

AI for sustainable supply chains

When asked about the specific data points that AIPERIA integrates that competitors might not, Chief of Staff of Aiperia, Nadine Haibt told TFN via an exclusive email interaction, “In addition to integration into existing ERP and checkout systems, we integrate around 150 external factors, including weather forecasts, public holidays and store locations. What clearly sets us apart from the competition is that we do not rely on existing algorithms but have our own specially developed AI models.”

This allows retailers and suppliers to order only what they need, minimising the risk of spoilage and surplus stock. AIPERIA claims this translates to an average 30% reduction in waste, a 4% increase in sales, and a 90% reduction in planning time for customers.

AIPERIA’s growth trajectory

Founded in 2021, AIPERIA has experienced rapid growth, boasting a 500% year-on-year increase in customer base from 2022 to 2023. Nadine Haibt told TFN via an email interaction that the growth translated to a rise from roughly 300 stores in 2022 to over 1,800 stores in 2023, primarily within the German-speaking market.

Fabrice Bienfait, Senior Partner, ETF Partners, said, “We are thrilled to be backing the dynamic and groundbreaking team at AIPERIA. Their commitment to addressing the critical challenge of food waste head-on is not only admirable but essential.”

He further continued, “With a swiftly expanding user base, AIPERIA has demonstrated remarkable potential, and we expect to see continued growth in 2024 and beyond. This successful funding round marks a pivotal moment, and we’re eager to witness the scale of impact their innovative solution will have. It’s about transforming supply chains for the better, boosting efficiency, and elevating profits for retailers and suppliers alike.”

Who are their competitors

When asked about the competitors, Nadine Haibt told TFN that the competitors like foodforecast, foodtracks, delicious data, SAP UDF, RELEX, and Remira operate in the fresh food demand planning space but claims that AIPERIA’s unique selling point lies in its proprietary optimization algorithms. Developed through over a decade of research, these algorithms account for the high level of demand uncertainty associated with fresh food due to factors like weather and customer behaviour.

It’s a vision for a predictive economy

While AIPERIA’s current focus is on fresh and ultra-fresh food products, the company has a long-term vision to expand its AI platform for application in planning other perishable goods.

Ultimately, AIPERIA envisions a “more predictive economy” where AI plays a pivotal role in optimising supply chains across various sectors, minimising waste and resource consumption. However, challenges exist in this vision, including overcoming a fragmented supply chain and fostering collaboration among stakeholders for maximum impact.

What we think about the startup

AIPERIA’s €7.5 million funding round signifies investor confidence in its potential to address the global food waste crisis. The company’s solution offers a promising avenue for increased efficiency and sustainability within the fresh food industry. 

However, long-term success will depend on AIPERIA’s ability to navigate a fragmented market, secure wider adoption, and potentially expand its AI platform beyond fresh food products.

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