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Upshop acquires Invafresh, prepares to launch food waste initiative

Upshop acquires Invafresh, prepares to launch food waste initiative

Grocery tech company Upshop has acquired Toronto-based Invafresh with the goal of addressing challenges in the industry, including availability, affordability, and food waste, the company announced Tuesday. 

Invafresh will rebrand as Upshop, and its CEO, Tim Spencer, will step down from his position and serve as an advisor to the combined companies. 

Bringing Invafresh into the fold will grow Tampa, Fla.-based Upshop’s client reach to more than 400 retailers in 35 countries, operating in more than 50,000 stores, the company said in a press release. 

“The challenge of introducing more affordable, healthy options into stores has been compounded by issues with technology that associates have struggled to adopt. A unified Upshop platform addresses these challenges with a single app, empowering associates to efficiently ‘win their day’ and deliver the best experience for shoppers,” according to the Upshop press release. 

Upshop CEO Shamus Hines told Supermarket News in an interview that the acquisition not only boosts its customer base from about 150 to more than 400 clients across the two businesses but also brings major retailers like Albertsons into the fold. 

“We’ve picked up a number of different retailers like Fresh Market, Coburns, Albertsons, H-E-B — these are some of the retailers that we’re now doing business with that we hadn’t historically,” Hines said. 

A big motivation behind the merger was due to Invafresh’s purchase of Whywaste, a tech company out of Gothenburg, Sweden, that developed a suite of food waste reduction tools for grocers.

Invafresh’s purchase of Whywaste in October of 2023 was an effort to merge Invefresh’s AI-enhanced forecasting capabilities to help customers reduce food waste. 

“It’s nice to bring the world’s best together and have the knowledge that both of our companies have to absolutely obliterate these problems around inventory in the store … and eliminating food waste,” Hines said.

Upshop noted in its press release that the acquisition comes at a critical time in the industry, considering the pending implementation of FSMA204, a forthcoming traceability regulation compliance requirement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

The company said it would launch its new suite of food safety regulation tools at the end of July to help grocers come into compliance with FSMA 204. 

Upshop also plans to launch a global Food Waste Initiative “powered by a leading product suite, unmatched analytics, and deep industry partnerships.”

Upshop is supported by private investment firm Level Equity, which provides capital to software and tech-driven businesses. 

“By uniting the unparalleled innovation of two industry leaders in food retail technology, we’re poised to redefine what’s possible for the global community… retailers, associates and shoppers alike. We are intent on investments that bring profound impact to the industry. This is yet another huge step in Upshop’s mission to elevate the future of food retail on a global scale,” said Level Equity Co-Founder and Partner Sarah Sommer.

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