It employs 80 people and plans to double its workforce by next year. At the origin of zero mess cabinetsIn supermarkets almost ten years ago, the start-up
Smartway, based in Saint-Herblain near Nantes, sought to “go further” in the fight against food waste. A little over a year ago, she then developed solutions (called food waste management system) to help distributors better manage expiration dates for edible products on the shelves.
“Our devices are based on artificial intelligence,” explains Paul-Adrien Menez, co-founder of Smartway. The first tool is a kind of GPS that guides the employee through the shelves so that he can very quickly spot short-dated products. The time saving is enormous for the brand. “
Reduce food waste by 80%
The second solution marketed by Smartway suggests the best choices to make to sell the stock. The third provides help in labeling discounts quickly. The fourth aims to better plan food donations. “End to end, they make it possible to reduce a store’s waste by 80% and increase its bottom line by more than 50%. There are also significant savings for consumers thanks to the reductions put in place. Everyone wins, ”says Paul-Adrien Menez.
The approach of the Nantes start-up has already attracted around 400 stores in France, Belgium, Spain and Portugal. “We work with almost all the brands,” says the manager. Even small areas. Some bosses call on us for better results, others don’t. You have to realize that a hypermarket can throw away astronomical quantities of products. Awareness of food waste has evolved, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. “
“For this to work, the actor must earn money”
This is why Smartway, which currencies its services from 70 euros per month to “several thousand euros” depending on needs and volumes, insists on economic gain to convince skeptical stores. It claims to be able to save 300,000 to 500,000 euros per year for a large hypermarket. “For this to work over the long term, the actor who commits must earn money. Including among consumers. “
Building on its success, Smartway raised 10 million euros in the spring from investors in order to “support growth”. She recruits at the same time. By 2025, it is targeting 4,000 equipped points of sale in the four European countries where it is already present. It also hopes to expand in Eastern Europe.