Toronto-based Flashfood, a mobile marketplace that provides customers with access to discounted food nearing its best-by date, has raised $12.3 million in Series A funding led by S2G Ventures. The app allows users to browse through available deals at participating stores near them. Customers can also purchase items directly in the app and then pick up their order from the Flashfood zone in their participating store.
The app was founded based on Flashfood CEO Josh Domingues’s personal experience in 2016. His sister, who was a chef, called him one night distraught saying that she had to throw away $4,000 worth of food. Domingues thought it was a joke but was shocked to learn that the food was from a catered event and that throwing out uneaten food was the norm in the food and grocery industries. After months of researching, Domingues thought about creating an app that lets you buy food nearing its best before date at a discounted price, after which Flashfood was born.
Founded in March 2016, Flashfood has numerous grocery partners across Canada and the United States, including Giant, Loblaw, Giant Eagle, Tops, Family Fare, Stop & Shop, Tops, Price Rite Marketplace and more. Flashfood says it has saved shoppers over $100 million on their grocery bills and that regular shoppers save more than $540 per year on average through the app. The company also says it has diverted more than 34 million pounds of food from landfills.
As for the new funding, Domingues says the investment will be used to support the company’s continued expansion in the United States and allow it to work toward a more sustainable food system.
“The funding will be used to expand our U.S. presence to offer more shoppers discounted grocery items that would otherwise end up in landfills,” Domingues told TechCrunch. “In addition to expanding Flashfood’s footprint through new grocers and other strategic partnerships, we’re also investing in our technology to make Flashfood accessible to a broader base of consumers.”
Flashfood’s Series A investment included participation from ArcTern Ventures, General Catalyst, Food Retail Ventures, Rob Gierkink and Alex Moorhead. S2G Ventures managing director and founder of OpenTable, Chuck Templeton, will also be joining Flashfood’s board of directors.
In terms of the future, Domingues says Flashfood will continue to expand its existing partnerships in more locations and that the company will have more to announce in the coming months.
“We’re currently focused on scaling across the U.S., expanding our existing partnerships into more locations and adding new partners to make Flashfood available from coast to coast,” he said. “As we do that, we’re exploring opportunities to further our impact across the supply chain and will have some exciting news around that in the coming months. We know that retail food waste is a global issue and the category potential is as staggering as the size of the problem. Solutions are urgently needed and ultimately, we’re building a company to solve the retail food waste problem at a global scale.”
The app is currently available in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Newfoundland. As for the United States, the app is available in Kentucky, Nebraska, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The app can be downloaded through the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.