The organization ReFED added the Capital Tracker to their collection of online tools for generating data-driven solutions to food waste. The service allows users to track data from capital investments in food waste reduction from 2012 onward.
ReFED developed the Capital Tracker with funders and solution providers in mind, but the tool is open to the public and free to use. Alejandro Enamorado, Capital, Innovation & Engagement Manager at ReFED, tells Food Tank, “it can be used by anyone who is interested in understanding the food waste funding landscape.”
“To develop an effective funding strategy, funders and solution providers need data,” says Enamorado. He says that this includes “which solution types have seen the most investment, which funders are most active in the space, which solution providers are offering similar products.” The Capital Tracker displays this information and other data through interactive graphs and charts. Users can find investor and recipient contact information or filter displays, selecting for specifics like investment amount or solution type.
The Capital Tracker launched with private investment data sourced from PitchBook. But over time, Enamorado says, “[ReFED] will be updating the Capital Tracker to include public and philanthropic investment data to provide a more complete picture of food waste funding. The data will come from U.S. Internal Revenue Service Form 990-PF and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.” ReFED expects to add these updates within the year and plans to perform general updates weekly. The tool also provides a survey link so users can provide feedback to improve future renditions.
“Throughout the last ten years, funding in food waste solutions has accelerated, with both the number of deals and deal size increasing,” Enamorado tells Food Tank. In 2021, US$2 billion was invested in food waste reduction strategies across 173 deals. Most of these funds were directed at food waste prevention.
ReFED aims to reduce U.S. food waste by 50 percent by 2030. For this to happen, investments need to transition to results. Enamorado sees their outlook favorably. “While we still have a long way to go in terms of reaching food waste reduction goals,” he tells Food Tank, “we’re starting to see progress… [and] we’re excited by what we’re seeing.”
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