Whether it is a cookie here or a bagel there, food waste is not something that we frequently consider. But even when we toss out the smallest, most insignificant items, it adds to the gigantic sum of food wasted around the globe. French startup OptiMiam may not be able to solve the entire problem themselves, but they are doing their small part with a platform that allows retailers to provide instant discounts on expiring inventory.
OptiMiam, which currently operates its website solely in French, operates by allowing food-retailers to update their list of food surplus daily. The end-user is then notified and has the option of creating a cart, going to that particular store, entering a code that they find, and then presenting it to the cashier. Further, users are able to share their plans for reducing food-waste, as well as suggest their favorite retailers. The nice aspect for the end-user is that the service is free to use, as the startup has instead opted to monetize it by taking an annual 400 Euro subscription fee from businesses.
OptiMiam, which launched in October 2014, tells me that they are currently partnering with 150 retailers in Paris and that they have picked up 43,000 users for their apps, which are available for Android and iOS. On that note, their app for Android currently maintains a rating of 3.5 (out of 5) stars from 176 reviews, while their app for iOS has a rating of 4 stars (out of 4) from 30 reviewers.
OptiMiam has declined to reveal the identities of their donors, but told me that they have picked up 600K Euro from 2 angels, who come from the retail and finance industry. With this backing, the startup plans to expand and diversify its network of independent retailers, “food chains”, and local supermarkets. They also intend to continue to develop their core service.