SEATTLE - To help further revolutionize the grocery retail industry, Shelf Engine today announced an investment from a leading group of celebrities passionate about eliminating food waste.
Ellen DeGeneres, Portia de Rossi, Shaun White and Shawn Mendes — through a strategic round of funding alongside PLUS Capital — are teaming up with Shelf Engine as the company continues to expand its grocery order automation solution to retailers nationwide. Shelf Engine's automation technology applies advanced statistical models and AI to deliver the perfect food order volume to drastically reduce food waste for its retail clients while increasing gross margins and sales.
"Every step we take to eliminate food waste is a step closer to solving food insecurity across the globe," DeGeneres said. "Shelf Engine is leading this fight against waste at retailers and grocery stores. The aim is to reduce the amount of fresh food that's thrown away every day. Portia and I are honored to partner with Shelf Engine. I think it was Madonna who said, 'Waste not, Want not.' And we couldn't agree more. It was either Madonna or Cher."
Providing more value and peace of mind, Shelf Engine's solution guarantees the sale of every item it orders for the retailer by buying back all unsold products and virtually eliminating the retailer's inventory risk. Retailers who utilize Shelf Engine's order automation solution reduce food waste by as much as 32 percent while benefiting from an average gross margin dollar expansion of more than 50 percent. Since its inception in 2016, Shelf Engine has helped retailers divert more than 1 million pounds of food waste from landfills.
Over the last year, Shelf Engine — which is currently operating nationwide with retailers and foodservice companies like Kroger, Whole Foods, and Compass Group — has achieved over 540% revenue growth while scaling up its staff from 23 employees to over 200. The company plans to more than double its headcount in the next 12 months to meet the growing demand for its solutions.
"I'm so proud to have invested in Shelf Engine. They're a game changer for the grocery industry and helping people reduce their environmental footprint, and I'm proud to support their mission," Mendes said.
Partnering with these celebrity advocates further enables Shelf Engine's mission to reduce food waste through automation by creating much-needed awareness for the link between retail food waste, the climate crisis and one of the most effective solutions to these linked problems. The additional funding will help Shelf Engine expand at full scale with current customers and accelerate further investment in research and development of its AI systems and automation capabilities. This latest funding is in addition to Shelf Engine's recent $41M Series B in March 2021, led by General Catalyst.
"We are facing a global environmental crisis and how we respond will have enormous ramifications on the generations that follow ours," said Stefan Kalb, co-founder and CEO of Shelf Engine. "Having such influential voices as Ellen, Portia, Shaun and Shawn educating consumers and retailers on the dire consequences if we don't act now is invaluable as we work to reduce food waste across the globe."
To learn more about Shelf Engine, visit www.shelfengine.com.
About Shelf Engine
Shelf Engine forecasts and orders highly perishable foods for grocers at scale. Using AI, Shelf Engine's platform predicts consumer demand with high precision and automates ordering for every SKU, every day, in every store. Shelf Engine simplifies grocery operations by automating the purchase orders sent to suppliers and distributors, paying them directly for the products they deliver, and only charging retailers for what they sell. Shelf Engine's performance-based model reduces labor requirements, eliminates inventory risk, and guarantees profit expansion from day one. Launched in 2016, Seattle-based Shelf Engine has more than 200 employees and manages orders for leading retailers at thousands of locations nationwide.
About PLUS Capital
PLUS Capital™ is the venture capital infrastructure trusted by elite artists, athletes, cultural leaders, and their teams to invest in and build transformative companies that are better for the planet and the beings that are on it. Located in Marina Del Rey, California, PLUS Capital is a division of PLUS™, which provides venture capital, investment banking and start-up advisory to more than 65 individuals from film, television, music, sports, and culture; individuals who can affect more change in the world in a day than most people can in a lifetime.