WISErg has raised an additional $4 million to fuel growth of its device that turns excess food scraps at grocery stores and restaurants into a nutrient-rich liquid.
The Redmond startup last raised money in April, reeling in $12.3 million. This additional $4 million pushes total funding for the company past $24 million.
A WISErg spokesperson wouldn’t provide further details about investors, but noted that the funding will primarily be used to scale operations up and down the West Coast.
WISErg, a “Seattle 10” startup in 2014 and one of Fast Company’s top 10 “Most Innovative Companies in Food” for 2015, sells its technology and hardware to stores like PCC, Red Apple, and Whole Foods; restaurants and other food service facilities are also customers.
Founded by former Microsoft managers Larry LeSueur and Jose Lugo, the startup helps grocers recycle their old produce and unsold prepared foods with the “Harvester,” a machine that intercepts nutrients still existing in food waste. The recycled material is then transferred to a nearby WISErg facility, where final steps are taken to convert them into a liquid which can be sold to local agricultural farmers, along with other individual consumers. The machine also provides data reports to help grocers and restaurants better manage perishable inventory and ultimately save money.
The fertilizer being produced by WISErg is of high quality because it is derived from all organic materials, as demand is growing among large agricultural operations. The idea is to target the natural fertilizer to specific non-grain crops, from lettuce to potatoes to tomatoes.