Outcast Foods, a Halifax company that makes nutritional ingredients and supplements out of food that would otherwise be thrown out, has raised $3 million in financing.
The company formerly known as Beyond Food issued a press release Thursday announcing the financing round, which follows a $1 million angel round early in 2019. The lead investors in the latest round include: The Cosine Group, a private equity firm in Boston; David Hoffman of Oxford Frozen Foods; Torey Krug from the Boston Bruins; and Stu Rath.
Outcast Foods’ mission is to reduce food wastage, a $49.5-billion-a-year annual problem in Canada alone, by finding supermarket produce that is about to be tossed out and converting it into nutritional powders. The company, which was recently named Innovator of the Year by Divert Nova Scotia, is already selling its products to food companies in several countries.
“The more layers of the onion we peeled back, from grocers to farms, the more produce we found being tossed into a landfill,” said Co-Founder TJ Galiardi in the statement. “We’ve found a way to create a full-circle sustainable model out of highly nutritious produce that was needlessly being discarded.”
Galiardi, a former National Hockey League player, co-founded the company two years ago with serial entrepreneur Darren Burke. They’ve been researching the food waste problem for several years and have developed patent-pending technology to overcome it. The statement said their solution uses several innovations from machine learning to a novel, high-efficiency drying invention they recently commercialized.
In June, the federal government announced that the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency had leant the company $925,000 to develop a brand and marketing plan and help to build a manufacturing facility in Dartmouth. That plant also opened in June, and Burke said in an email that funds from the most recent funding round will be used to expand the production capabilities of the facility.
Outcast Foods, which has 12 full-time and four part-time employees, has been working for more than a year with a national grocer and several large-scale farms to help mitigate unnecessary food waste. It plans to move across the country and eventually into international markets.
“The magnitude of this situation motivates us,” said Burke in the statement. “On one end of the food supply chain there are tonnes of fresh fruits and vegetables being buried and creating greenhouse gases, and the other end there is significant food insecurity and children going to school hungry every day. By extending the shelf life of the valuable nutrients from food, we can find numerous beneficial uses such as natural health products, pet food, cosmetics, and more using our upcycling technology."
Outcast said it is now selling its nutrient-dense powders to large-scale food companies around the world, working with socially conscious grocers and farms to reduce food waste, and planning the construction of its first large-scale, zero-waste facility.