ProducePay Raises $38 Million

In the U.S. alone, roughly 30% to 40% of the supply ends up in landfills. A United Nations report estimated that around one-third of the world’s food is wasted every year, adding up to 1.3 billion tons — worth almost $1 trillion. Given the scale — and societal implications — of food waste, it’s not surprising that there’s an entire cohort of startups attempting to tackle the challenge from various angles. Yume’s platform helps manufacturers turn potential food waste into cash. Divert aims to tackle grocery store waste algorithmically. Ida is applying AI to attempt to prevent surplus in supermarkets. And Choco is fostering a more sustainable food system for restaurants and suppliers. Another among the food waste-fighting ventures is Los Angeles-based ProducePay, whose stated mission is to give fresh produce growers and buyers greater transparency — and flexibility — in the grocery supply chain.  ProducePay’s solution is two-pronged: supply chain monitoring and financing products for food growers and suppliers. ProducePay supplies working capital to help growers and distributors pay for things like operating expenditures, tech upgrades and land acquisitions. In addition, ProducePay extends liquidity to growers and distributors post-harvest, enabling growers to reach ostensibly stronger cash positions for their next growing cycle — and distributors to attract sought-after growers by offering them faster, larger payouts.