Romanian startup bonapp.eco has secured a seed investment of €800,000 from a group of investors led by Up (formerly named Chèque-Déjeuner). The others investors are Romanian VCs Roca X and Early Game Ventures, as well as Hungary-based Impact Ventures.
Launched on November 4, 2021, by serial entrepreneur and business angel Grégoire Vigroux, former KPMG senior tech consultant Diego Roy de Lachaise and ex-Apple executive Zsolt Kadar, bonapp.eco is a Romanian startup that combats food waste. The company’s app, available on iOS and Android, connects users with local food retailers, including grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, bakeries, coffee shops and hotels. Through the app, users can purchase food that is approaching its expiration date, at a discount of up to 80%.
Since its launch two months ago, bonapp.eco’s mobile application has been downloaded by 10,000 users. To date, the startup has saved 1,000 meals from being wasted, with an average selling price of 5 EUR. Among the 100 partners who have joined bonapp.eco’s network in Bucharest are Accor, Cora, foodpanda, PENNY Romania, Starbucks and Up (formerly Chèque-Déjeuner), with further partnerships due to be announced in Q1 2022.
With the funding, bonapp.eco will deploy substantial sales and marketing efforts to expand to other Romanian cities in the coming months, starting with Cluj, Timisoara and Iasi, as well as other countries in Eastern Europe. The company will hire a sales team as well as City Managers in each new city where it launches.
Grégoire Vigroux, co-founder of bonapp.eco, said: “At bonapp.eco, we intend to transform the environmental, economic and social challenges caused by food waste into a sustainable business opportunity to the benefit of everyone. With our mobile app, consumers save up to 80% on food, retailers increase their traffic and revenue, and we all have a positive impact on climate change. We are thrilled to welcome four highly-reputed investors that share our eco-friendly values, as well as our startup mindset. With their support, we are on course to reach our target, which is to affiliate 5,000 locations and sell 30 million meals by 2023.”
Elena Pap, Regional Director at Up Group, added: “Consumers nowadays are becoming increasingly focused on the small actions they can take to improve the sustainability of their households. As a company focused on supporting Romanians’ daily lives, we are excited to invest in the bonapp.eco team as we are strongly aligned with the company’ responsible consumption mission. We are impressed with bonapp.eco’s innovative digital business model, particularly as everyone wins – the food seller and buyer, but importantly also the environment. Through this investment, we look forward to helping bonapp.eco grow and expand its services nationally, so we can move closer to achieving zero food waste.”
Matei Dumitrescu, Senior Partner at Roca X, commented: “Partnering with bonapp.eco came naturally for us as it is aligned with our strategy of investing in sustainable tech that has a major impact on people’s quality of life. And we have seen in other countries, food waste apps keep sustainability at the forefront of grocery shopping and dining out. On our side, we are enthusiastic about being able to assemble such a great and diverse international group of investors, including Impact Ventures from Hungary and the international Up group, and we believe that this will also contribute to bonapp.eco’s rapid regional expansion.”
Cristian Munteanu, Managing Partner at Early Game Ventures, said: “Investing in socially responsible business models is a no-brainer for any VC looking for impact and to improve people’s quality of life. This kind of investing for good will grow in Romania and will be one of the guiding principles of our activity in the future as well. We were convinced by the quality of the team, the generosity of the business model, the market opportunity and the trust of the other investors. bonapp.eco has everything it needs to become the market and regional leader in its category.”
Elemér Eszter, Managing Partner at Impact Ventures, concluded: “bonapp.eco’s direct and privileged access to the largest food retailers creates high potential for the acceleration of food waste reduction in the SEE region. By enabling consumers to purchase food that would otherwise be thrown out, bonapp.eco combats emissions while also raising awareness of food waste within society. We are excited to join bonapp.eco on its promising journey and support the scale of its environmental impact.”