Two months after its launch, Romanian startup preventing food waste in HoReCa bonapp.eco raised a seed investment of €800K, led by Up Romania, to expand across Eastern Europe. Roca X, Early Game Ventures, and Hungary-based Impact Ventures are the other investors backing the platform.
With 40% of food produced worldwide going to waste (or 2.5 billion tons of food every year), food waste is a serious global challenge, strongly interlinked with food insecurity and the release of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Bonapp.eco offers a solution to this issue by connecting food retailers looking to sell food approaching the expiration date, from grocery stores, to restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, bakeries, and gas stations, to consumers interested to purchase it at a discount of up to 80%.
In the months since launching, the app has already proved its potential for impact in reducing food waste, as well as helping retailers increase traffic and revenue. The app was downloaded by 10,000 users, and 1,000 meals were saved, at an average selling price of €5. The bonapp.eco network already counts 100 partners, including Accor, foodpanda, Starbucks, Up, Cora, and PENNY Romania.
With the new funds, the startup will invest in sales and marketing efforts aimed at expanding the business across Romanian cities such as Cluj, Timisoara, and Iasi in the next months, followed by other countries in Eastern Europe. The expansion will be coupled with a hiring of local sales teams and city managers in each city added to their map.
“We are thrilled to welcome four highly-reputed investors that share our eco-friendly values, as well as our startup mindset. With their support, we are on course to reach our target, which is to affiliate 5,000 locations and sell 30 million meals by 2023,” Grégoire Vigroux, co-founder of bonapp.eco, says.
For investors, bonapp.eco constitutes an opportunity to invest in sustainable tech with a major impact on people’s lives, as Matei Dumitrescu, Senior Partner at Roca X puts it. And investments with potential for additional impact outside of traditional financial returns is trusted to become one of the guiding principles in the activity of VCs in Romania, Cristian Munteanu, Managing Partner at Early Game Ventures notes.
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Grégoire Vigroux is a serial entrepreneur in Eastern Europe, having co-founded 25 businesses and had 4 exits to date. Impact is a big part of his business ethos. Before bonapp.eco, he developed an online store for refurbished smartphones, which merged with the Recommerce Group in July 2021. For more on his mindset, what drives him, and the lessons he learned, listen to his conversation with Irina on The Recursive podcast.