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  • Founders: Anastasia Hofmann, Naomi MacKenzie
  • Founded in: 2017
  • Employees: 14
  • Money raised: -
  • Ultimate goal: Harnessing the power of data to save valuable resources and bring back the value of all food.

According to the World Food Program, nearly a third of all food produced worldwide is lost before someone can consume it. This means that 1.3 billion tons of food yearly goes to waste. According to the institution, the amount of non-consumed food would be enough to feed two billion people. 

Whereas households throw away most of these goods, the problem also concerns the hospitality sector, where quality standards are higher and food that might still be edible lands in trash bins. Swiss start-up KITRO has found a solution using AI and image processing. 

The company created a smart scale with a pole that scans what food is thrown away and how that product much costs. As a  result, kitchens receive insights and detailed breakdowns of their food waste to take action and waste less food. We brought you KITRO’s story in a previous episode of the Start-up of the Day series. Anastasia Hofmann, co-founder of the start-up, sat down again with us to tell IO more about the latest developments of the company.

How is Kitro doing since our last chat?

“A lot has happened since 2020. Back then, the start of COVID-19 emergency resulted in a lot of insecurity for our customers and in the investment ecosystem. That’s why I am grateful to be able to say that we’re currently doing really well.”

How has the company evolved in the past three years?

“Despite the challenges and crisis moments, we grew the company, improved the product, and managed to leverage the COVID-19 ‘down-time’ to focus on improving internal processes to get ready for scaling later. This has proven to be a big advantage. In fact, new opportunities came out of the pandemic. Overall we’re pleased with how the company and team have evolved and are very excited about what’s coming next.”

How have you further developed your technology?

“We had considerable leaps forward in the algorithms as well as in other software and hardware components of our product. For instance, we developed a stabler version of our hardware and set up a new supply chain with our partner Mettler Toledo. In addition, we also introduced new features in the customer dashboard. All these improvements aim to enhance usability, optimize internal processes, and reduce customers’ costs.”

How many professional kitchens are using Kitro?

“Currently, we installed over 200 KITRO devices in over 100 kitchens.”

Have you expanded outside of Switzerland?

“Yes, we have already expanded into some European countries. Furthermore, some of our devices have been installed in Australia, the Middle East, and the United States. Next year, we’ll focus on the DACH region more – which includes Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Yet, we’ll also try to grow within global hospitality groups, establishing new partnerships, for instance.

How are you trying to make an impact in the fight against food waste?

“By measuring and analyzing food waste in a fully automated way, we help our customers understand their inefficiencies. They can make data-driven decisions to optimize their work processes, menus, or production quantities accordingly. On average, our customers can save more than 30 percent of their avoidable food waste after the first five months by using our tool and support.”

What are your plans for the future?

“We have many ideas and see lots of opportunities, but we also need to keep focus. That is why we’ll continue focusing on our current product and to scale it further. While the past years have been about finding product market fit and R&D, we’re shifting the resources towards business activities to grow further with customers and increase our market share.”