Babaco Market raises €6.3 million for food boxes containing "odd" cuts to tackle food waste

Babaco's odd groceries marketplace is targeting a more than 2x increase in sales volumes this year.
Babaco Market raises €6.3 million for food boxes containing

Lombardo-based startup Babaco Market has attracted €6.3 million in series A funds, bringing its lifetime funding to €8.1 million.

Italy's Babaco Market distributes food products that have small cosmetic defects or other qualities that would usually see the products discarded. Figures show at least 6% of the EU's total greenhouse gas emissions come from food waste.

The EU ended a long-standing ban on selling misshaped fruit and vegetables more than a decade ago.

Babaco collects fruit, vegetables and other foods from 100 producers that are perfectly edible otherwise, and distributes them in food boxes marketed in four Italian regions (Lombardy, Emilia Romagna, Veneto and Piedmont) through its sustainable groceries subscription service.

The startup was founded in May 2020 by Italian founders Francesco Gilberti and Luca Massaeretti, who were inspired by a couple of similar food startups in the US: Imperfect Foods and Misfits Market.

Babaco's series A round was closed with the help of lead investor Milan VC United Ventures, with further participation from existing investors Fondo Acceleratori (a fund division by CDP Venture Capital), Seven Investments, Feel Venture, Doorway, Plug and Play, Startupbootcamp Foodtech, Boost Heroes, NextUp and LVenture Group, and angel investor Niccolò Maisto.

According to Babaco,  some 35,000 food boxes shipped from its marketplace in 2021 and the company is expecting to more than double that figure this year. Following the series A raise, Babaco plans to fund an expansion drive into international markets, with the recruitment of additional staff.

Massimiliano Magrini, managing partner of United Ventures, said: "Food waste is a huge problem to solve today.

"By encouraging the consumption of fruits and vegetables from quality independent producers in an innovative distribution system, Babaco Market offers a solution to this problem while responding to the increasingly felt need of so many people to lead a healthier, more sustainable, and more affordable lifestyle."

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