Karma, the food waste app founded in Stockholm, raised $12 million in Series A funding to expand into new markets and consolidate its presence in London.
Swedish investment firm Kinnevik leads the round, alongside US venture capital (VC) firm Bessemer Venture Partners, Swedish appliance company Electrolux, and global VC firm E. Ventures. Karma launched in London last February, and now works with over 400 restaurants in the U.K., but its London presence remains limited to pockets of high restaurant concentration. The funding should go some way to solving this limitation, as well as realising the brand’s plan to — eventually — partner with supermarkets on reducing food waste. The premise remains appealingly simple: restaurants, cafes and grocery stores upload details of their surplus food to the Karma app and mark it at a 50% discount; customers searching for food in their area can place an order in-app and collect it to go within a specified time.
As Eater noted in February, Karma’s success will likely depend on the continued adoption of all-day dining and the growing number of London diners looking for good food outside of peak times. Currently, while many of the capital’s restaurants adapt offcuts, by-products and nose-to-tail / root-and-stem approaches to designing and preparing dishes, what happens to wasted product and completed meals is on shakier ground.
Karma’s CEO, Hjalmar Ståhlberg Nordegren, said: “We are delighted to announce this investment which will accelerate our mission to reduce food waste globally.” Time will tell as to whether London will take to that mission.