FoodCloud aims to double impact over three years following funding injection

30 Oct 2018

From left: Jim O’Keefe, AIB; Iseult Ward, FoodCloud; Minister Seán Canney, TD; Aoibheann O’Brien, FoodCloud; and Deirdre Mortell, SIFI. Image: MKC Communications

Social enterprise FoodCloud aims to grow even further with new funding from AIB and Social Innovation Fund Ireland.

FoodCloud has secured significant investment from AIB, with part-matched Government funding through Social Innovation Fund Ireland (SIFI).

Over the next three years, AIB has committed to investing €500,000 per annum in the company. This will be supplemented by supports, both financial and non-financial, to the value of €330,000 per annum from SIFI’s new Growth Fund, established by the Department of Rural and Community Development from the Dormant Accounts Fund.

New fund for established social enterprises

The new Growth Fund invests in established social enterprises that have completed a six-month accelerator programme and are in a position to secure significant growth capital and use it to scale up. The food redistribution innovator is the first beneficiary of the new fund.

The funding will be used to invest in the further development of the FoodCloud technology platform, expansion of FoodCloud Hubs and the development of new food redistribution services.

Minister of State for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development Seán Canney, TD, said: “FoodCloud is a wonderful example of the impact of social enterprise in Ireland. A simple concept to match retailers with surplus food and charities has seen some 40m meals distributed to date.”

Canney added that food donations provide “essential support to charities by enabling them to save money on their food bills, in some instances up to 80pc, which they instead can redirect to improving their services to the people they support”.

Security and certainty for FoodCloud

Co-CEO of FoodCloud, Iseult Ward, said: “The multi-year partnership gives us security and certainty in relation to our fundraising income, allowing us to take a longer-term view, focusing on activating our plans for future growth to realise our targets as set out in our strategic plan, and freeing up the resources that would [have] previously focused on fundraising alone.”

CEO of SIFI, Deirdre Mortell, said: “With the support of the Growth Fund, FoodCloud will be able to fully realise their impact targets as set out in their strategic plan. We’re looking forward to working with FoodCloud again in helping them achieve transformative change for food charities and organisations across the country, and bring their social enterprise to the next level of impact and viability.”

Separately, AIB has also announced it is directly investing €100,000 into FoodCloud, as well as establishing an employee volunteering programme for the social enterprise as a result.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects