Winnow

Food waste analytics for restaurant chains. The kitchen of the future is here. The most accurate and profitable way to reduce food waste in your kitchen. Now enabled with cutting-edge AI technology.

SaaS Sustainability Food Waste

Timeline

Founded

01/13

Seed

$800k

12/14

Series A

$3.3M

01/16

Series B

$7.4M

10/17

Memo

clement

04/19

Series C

clement

May 19, 2019

Food waste management software

Need

🤔Customer pain points can be divided in two categories: “must-have” and “nice-to-have”. From a restaurant pov the “waste monitoring / analytics” aspect seems like a “nice-to-have” (it won’t increase revenue or employee productivity). It’s probably a hard sell, and why the main value proposition on the homepage is about the money that can be saved from food waste.

Market

👍 Winnow is not targeting single restaurants, but chains and franchises (like Ikea, Hilton, Costa Cruises…). For instance a chain such as McDonald’s has more than 36k restaurants worldwide. There's enough rubbish bins in the world for Winnow :-)

Product

🤔When I analyse a product, I often think in terms of friction:

  • What friction does it remove for the user?
  • But also, what friction does it create for the user?

When you look at Winnow product from the “friction created” angle, it’s tough:

  • The customer needs a new dedicated hardware to be installed in his kitchen. Take into account the friction linked to maintenance (when the device doesn’t work, when it needs to be replaced).
  • The software needs to be trained a couple of weeks before it can perform well (so that the recognition software adapts to the specificity of the food waste produced).
  • Employees need to change their habits when dealing with waste and integrate the device in their everyday tasks (changing habit is tough).
  • The more friction a customer needs to overcome, the more difficult product adoption is. That being said, the benefit of products with high adoption friction can be a lock-in effect (it’s the reason why B2B payment software have a lower churn, because once you’ve setup everything, it’s a real pain to switch to another provider).

    Business model

    🤔I’m not a hardware startup specialist, but in the unit economics you must take into account:

    • COGS (Cost of Good Sold) a.k.a the costs to create, manufacture, store and ship Winnow device.
    • Service costs: installation, training, maintenance and replacement of the hardware.

    That being said, Winnow is not selling a “one time” device, but a “Hardware as a Service”. So the margins are probably not as good as a pure SaaS (usually around 80%), but probably better than the margin of a consumer hardware company (if they have a long enough LTV).

    PS: if you’re interested in the unit economics of hardware businesses, there’s some really interesting content here.