Former Monzo COO, Tom Foster-Carter, has secured Â£5m in funding for his latest venture, Lollipop, an AI-powered grocery helper. The funding round was led by venture capital firm, LocalGlobe, with participation from existing investors, including AI Seed and Mustard Seed.
Lollipop is an app that uses artificial intelligence to help users plan their grocery shopping and reduce food waste. The app analyses users’ shopping habits and suggests recipes based on the ingredients they already have at home. It also helps users create shopping lists and alerts them when items are running low.
Foster-Carter, who left Monzo in 2019, said he was inspired to create Lollipop after seeing the amount of food waste generated by his own household. “I realised that we were throwing away a lot of food because we weren’t using it before it went bad,” he said. “I wanted to create a tool that would help people make the most of the food they have and reduce waste.”
The app is currently in beta testing and is expected to launch later this year. Foster-Carter said the funding would be used to expand the team and develop new features for the app. “We’re really excited about the potential of Lollipop to help people save time, money and reduce food waste,” he said.
LocalGlobe partner, Suzanne Ashman, said the firm was impressed by Foster-Carter’s track record and the potential of Lollipop. “Tom has a proven track record of building successful businesses and we believe Lollipop has the potential to be a game-changer in the grocery industry,” she said.
The funding round comes at a time when interest in food waste reduction is growing. According to a report by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the UK throws away 9.5 million tonnes of food each year, with households responsible for 70% of that waste. The report also found that reducing food waste could save households up to Â£700 a year.
Lollipop is one of several apps and services that have emerged in recent years to help consumers reduce food waste. Other examples include Olio, which allows users to share surplus food with their neighbours, and Too Good To Go, which offers discounted meals from restaurants and cafes that would otherwise go to waste.
As the world becomes more aware of the environmental impact of food waste, it’s likely that we’ll see more innovation in this space. Lollipop is just one example of how technology can be used to tackle this issue and help consumers make more sustainable choices.