Motatos sells discounted out-of-season or wrongly packaged food that would go in the trash. Here’s the 12-slide deck it used to raise a $27 million Series C extension.
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- Food waste and e-commerce startup Motatos has raised a €24 million Series C extension.
- The Swedish company lets people buy surplus and out-of-season food that would be binned.
- We got an exclusive look at the pitch deck it used to raise the cash.
An e-commerce startup reducing food waste has raised a €24 million ($27 million) Series C extension.
Sweden-based Motatos allows people purchase food that would otherwise be thrown away by suppliers at a discounted rate. This could be due to overproduction, incorrect packaging, seasonal trends, or short best before dates.
The idea came about when founder Erik Sodergren, who owns a supermarket outside of Stockholm, became frustrated having to throw away food. Speaking with suppliers, he negotiated a deal whereby he bought out-of-season Christmas stock in bulk and at a discounted price to sell in his store.
“A few months down the line, he had a store full of crazy offerings and people were coming in more frequently,” said Karl Andersson, CEO of Motatos and Sodergren’s cofounder.
In 2014, Sodergren and Andersson teamed up with third cofounder Ulf Skagerstrom. “The three of us sat down and tried to understand what this actually was. We Googled food waste and understood that this is not a local issue, this, of course, is a global thing and it’s one of our times’ biggest issues.”
Some 17% of food available to consumers is wasted, according to the UN. This includes from shops, households and restaurants.
The cofounders saw an opportunity in combining potential waste with the public’s desire for a deal and e-commerce. When Motatos first launched, the team used Sodergren’s store — which he still has today — as a warehouse, and worked through the night packing boxes in a 15-square meter room.
Since then, Andersson said awareness of food waste and its challenges has “changed dramatically.”
“People are so much more enlightened today,” he said. “Greta [Thunberg], of course, carried the word for us. People see the wildfires and flooding and all of this is making them … very aware that we need to do something.”
Environmental awareness and a boom in e-commerce has helped Motatos make its business case.
“I think interest around the company has never been greater, I have talked to so many [investors] and we actually turned down a lot of them,” Andersson said.
The latest cash injection, led by Blume Equity, follows a €35 million ($40 million) Series C round earlier this year and brings total funds raised to €95 million ($110 million).
Gullspang Re:food Invest and SEB Private Equity led the original round, while existing investors Northzone, Norrsken Foundation, LeadX Capital, Novax and Ingka Group (IKEA) also participated.
After proving Motatos’ business model can be profitable, the company’s next task is scaling. It has a long-term goal to become a global supplier.
It currently operates in Sweden, Finland, Germany, and Denmark but will use the fresh cash to enter new markets, including in Europe. Motatos did not disclose which countries it is eyeing up next, but will expand in 2022.
The startup will also continue to build out its own brand of pantry basics like pasta and tinned tomatoes, and launch a range made from food waste. This will include vegetable spreads, pesto, and soups.
It will also fund a new, fully-automated warehouse. The startup currently works with around 1,000 suppliers in the Nordics, it said.
Currently a team of 200, Motatos is bringing on 50 to 60 new technical team members including customer and user experience developers and researchers, frontend and .NET developers, and data engineers.