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ETF Digest

AIPERIA raises €7.5m to expand innovative AI-powered solution addressing food waste and sustainable demand planning


18 April 2024

AIPERIA raises €7.5m to expand innovative AI-powered solution addressing food waste and sustainable demand planning
● The German sustainability pioneer builds on a 500% yoy growth and extends its technological capabilities for retailers and suppliers in the fresh food sector throughout the UK and EU.
● AIPERIA’s innovative platform addresses a €10bn software market helping suppliers and sellers of ultra-perishable goods to reduce waste through better planning and forecasting.
● The Series A financing round is led by two new investors ETF Partners and LBBW VC and existing investor Earlybird Venture Capital.

Würzburg, Germany, April 18, 2024 – The Würzburg-based company innovating sustainable demand planning of fresh food announces a successful €7.5 million Series A financing round. The round was led by Europe’s leading impact investor, ETF Partners as well as LBBW VC, with support from existing investor Earlybird Venture Capital, and a consortium of Europe’s most prolific angel investors.

AIPERIA, formerly known as PlanerAI, has spent the past decade combining research and deep industry know-how to develop an AI-based planning platform that allows food retailers and manufacturers to only sell what they produce, thereby reducing food waste from the beginning of the supply chain and increasing profits in the process. The company’s end-to-end solution utilizes over 150 influencing factors to reduce the waste of each customer on average by 30%, increase sales on average by 4% and save on average 90% of time that was needed beforehand for order planning. The technology considers not only historical information and current sales data, but also external factors such as consumer demand, retail stocks, weather and store locations.

Fabrice Bienfait, Senior Partner, ETF Partners: “We are thrilled to be backing the dynamic and groundbreaking team at AIPERIA. Their commitment to addressing the critical challenge of food waste head-on is not only admirable but essential. With a swiftly expanding user base, AIPERIA has demonstrated remarkable potential, and we expect to see continued growth in 2024 and beyond. This successful funding round marks a pivotal moment, and we’re eager to witness the scale of impact their innovative solution will have. It’s about transforming supply chains for the better, boosting efficiency, and elevating profits for retailers and suppliers alike.

AIPERIA provides the answer to an increasingly urgent problem: retail food waste due to poor planning produces a €13bn loss in retail revenues and 32m tons of CO2 emissions in Europe every year – more emissions than Denmark produces as an entire country. There is strong political pressure to cut this massive food waste in Europe, while rising inflation is also squeezing suppliers’ margins, creating an urgent need to employ accurate forecasting to avoid waste, increase margins and boost revenue.

We got to know AIPERIA’s team and vision already some time ago and were able to see them growing their customer base in the bakery industry month over month, delivering a technologically superior solution that remains easy to use. We are excited to support AIPERIA’s great team on their future journey cutting food waste while boosting revenue and improving margins in the fresh food industry.”, Patrick Herlinger, Investment Manager at LBBW Venture Capital.

Franz Seubert, AIPERIA CEO and co-founder added: “Over the past three years, we have established ourselves as the leading planning solution for fresh food in the German-speaking market. We are now ready to roll out the technology in new and international markets to further increase our vital, sustainable impact. With this investment, we now have the necessary resources and are looking forward to the journey ahead.

Retailers and suppliers face several challenges along the supply chain. Inadequate data often fails to address influencing factors on demand, such as events like public holidays and school vacations, as well as information about promotions or weather forecasts. The shelf life of products is limited, and demand is volatile, leading to the amassing of safety stocks that can ultimately produce food waste.

We can achieve the greatest economic and ecological impact if the food does not even have to be produced at the beginning of the supply chain“, explains Dr. Jan Meller, AIPERIA CTO and co-founder.

This is where AIPERIA makes a momentous difference. Thanks to its specially developed technology and integration into existing merchandise management and checkout systems, the company manages crucial missing data exchanges without the need for additional hardware. Demand has rocketed in response to AIPERIA’s innovative solution, producing a 500% yoy growth from 2022 to 2023 and contributing to the global commitment to reach the SDG target of halving global per capita food waste by 2030.

Dr. Fabian Taigel, AIPERIA COO and co-founder explains in more detail: “Every day we make around 50 to 100 decisions per store when planning fresh food requirements. With 10 stores, that’s already 500 to 1000 decisions that need to be made. If you take just 20 seconds per decision, an employee would be busy planning for almost three hours a day. The time required is enormous, but our AI reduces this effort by 90%.

Founded in 2021, AIPERIA launched its first product to address the wastage of perishable baked goods, which almost 2,600 stores in German-speaking countries now rely on. Over the past three years, the start-up has grown into an established company with almost 60 employees, while accelerator Campus Founders has provided intensive mentoring to enable the young team to secure financing from ETF Partners, Earlybird Venture Capital, and LBBW VC.

The investment will enable AIPERIA to scale internationally. We saw the potential in this team early on and encouraged them as mentors to think big for their solution. We are delighted that they have been an active part of our community since their beginnings and will continue to participate in our programs.” Oliver Hanisch, CEO Campus Founders.

Dr. Philipp Semmer, Partner at Earlybird-X concludes: “We’re proud to back AIPERIA since the early stages. The company is a testament to groundbreaking and innovative tech coming out of European universities. We believe perishable goods are only the beginning! Ultimately, we’ll see a more predictive economy: AI will process big data from various sources to predict events and outcomes in all sectors of the global economy. We’re excited to continue this journey with a great team.”

About AIPERIA: AIPERIA is a software company based in Würzburg that specializes in demand planning for fresh food. Based on more than 10 years of research, the company has developed an AI-based planning solution that makes it possible for the first time to plan from production to the supermarket shelf. Today, the solution from AIPERIA is already in use in around 2,600 stores. The Würzburg team has already won several awards for its innovative technology, including the Baden-Württemberg AI Champions award, the German AI Award in the Startups category, the CNA Innovation Award in the Sustainability category and the Econic Startup Award. The company was founded in 2021 by Dr. Jan Meller, Dr. Fabian Taigel and Franz Seubert in Großrinderfeld. Further information at www.aiperia.com, press contact: [email protected]

About ETF Partners: Founded in 2006, ETF Partners supports talented entrepreneurs and management teams with investment capital and experience. Our funds come from institutional investors, global corporations, and family offices. We create value by investing in technology companies that make a difference. We call it Sustainability through Innovation.

About Earlybird Venture Capital: Earlybird Venture Capital focuses on European technology companies. Founded in 1997, Earlybird identifies and backs exceptional early-stage companies on a pan-European basis and supports them through their growth and development phases – providing financial resources, strategic support, plus access to an international network and capital markets. Earlybird invests out of a family of independently-managed funds. Flagship funds with early-stage focus include Digital West (Western Europe), Digital East (Emerging Europe), and Health. Newer funds Earlybird-X (pre-seed in Western Europe & university spinoffs) and Growth Opportunities (a pan-Earlybird growth fund) offer even more agility. With EUR 2 billion under management across all fund streams, 9 IPOs, and 33 trade sales, Earlybird is one of Europe’s most established and active venture capital firms. More information on www.earlybird.com.

About LBBW Venture Capital: LBBW Venture Capital supports startup founders raising a seed or series A round within the DACH region as an evergreen fund since 1998. Search fields include B2B Software, FinTech, DeepTech and Life Science. LBBW Venture Capital provides growth support through the large client network of LBBW and can offer additional financial services at later stages as well as advise on potential M&A or IPO exits.

About Campus Founders: Campus Founders in Heilbronn is a startup hub providing optimal conditions for entrepreneurs, including individual guidance and financial support. As a platform, it connects students, founders, investors, and companies, fostering collaboration and co-innovation through tailored programs such as AI Start, AI Founders, and AI Scale. Annually, it hosts the startup festival Heilbronn Slush’D, attracting international partners and advancing the startup and innovation ecosystem in Heilbronn-Franken. Established in 2018, Campus Founders is supported by the Dieter Schwarz Foundation.