Positive Carbon secures €2.3m seed funding to tackle food waste

9 Nov 2023

Image: Stedman Photography

Led by Business Venture Partners, the seed investment will allow the Dublin-based start-up to further help commercial kitchens reduce food waste using tech.

Positive Carbon, the Irish start-up tackling the issue of food waste, has secured €2.3m in seed funding to bring its innovative technology to the EU and UK markets.

A previous Start-up of the Week, Positive Carbon founded by Aisling and Mark Kirwan and is based in Dublin. It helps commercial kitchens tackle the growing incidence of food waste with AI and lidar technologies, hoping to bring down cost and increase sustainability.

Some of the locations that are using or have used Positive Carbon technology include Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, Sandymount Hotel, The Grand Hotel Malahide and Airfield Estate in Dundrum.

Last year, it also secured a partnership with KSG, the third-largest food service provider in Ireland.

“Our technology is not just a tool for reducing food waste, it’s the driving force behind fostering a sustainable ecosystem that benefits businesses, the environment, and society at large,” said Mark, who is also the CEO of Positive Carbon. “This pivotal funding marks an acceleration in our relentless pursuit to eradicate food waste.”

The latest seed funding round was led by Business Venture Partners (BVP) under the EII scheme and saw participation from Heartfelt, Gateway Ventures and Enterprise Ireland.

“Positive Carbon stands out for the rapid, tangible impact their solution has both on customer margins as well as the environment,” added Andrew McGreal, investment director at BVP.

“Food waste is a global critical issue. Positive Carbon isn’t just solving part of the problem, it is helping set new standards in terms of how corporates and commercial kitchens operate.”

Enterprise Ireland backed the company through its Competitive Start Fund and New Frontiers programme, and then again in a pre-seed funding round in 2021 along with German VC APX, marking the latter’s first investment in an Irish business.

At the same time the start-up was selected for University College Dublin’s Agccellerator programme and had also been accepted into Social Entrepreneurs Ireland’s Impact Programme. Earlier this year, Positive Carbon was among eight Irish businesses selected by Bord na Móna for its Accelerate Green programme.

In January, Positive Carbon featured in Silicon Republic’s list of 23 start-ups to watch in 2023.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic