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Contxto – Just up the road from Contxto’s main offices in Guadalajara, the venture capitalists (VCs) at Redwood Ventures announced they had just led an undisclosed seed round for Genius Foods.
This foodtech startup from Monterrey has potential in the wasteful world we live in. For, you see, Enrique González and Flavio Siller—its co-founders—realized that we were literally throwing money away in the form of organic waste.
A little while back in 2013, these two regio partners saw how industrial food processing threw out a large amount of still very nutritious produce. These food geniuses quickly went on to develop a now patented technique based on the waste-based dehydration and extraction. The resulting nutrient-rich powder is good for baking, food supplements, even sausages. Apparently it’s healthier too.
Are you going to eat that?
Genius Foods started out as a small startup called Eat Limmo which specialized in processing mangos. Why mangos?
Well, apart from being delicious, they are nutritious and Mexico is all about these yellow treasure troves. Mexico’s mango production is at 1.8 million yearly tons, also according to the country’s Secretariat of Agriculture, Sagarpa.
Then startup, therefore, developed a business-to-business (B2B) model
It wasn’t hard. “Hey, are you going to use that trash? No? Could I buy it off you?”
Quickly, the company turned into Genius Foods, realizing it could scale into other organic products. Especially since—again according to Sagarpa—, Mexico produces 15 million tons of organic waste a year.
This is where Redwood Ventures saw promise, innovation, and scalability. Therefore, the VC went on to lead the investment round accompanied by 11 other funds.
Fund Manager at Redwood Ventures and my tocayo [namesake], Alejandro González (no relation to any of the Gonzalezes in this story), praised Genius Foods for being “a clear example of how, even in those sectors that seem to be most traditional, there are big opportunities to make an impact through the application of new technologies.”
The resulting investment was the resulting product from this particular process.
Let’s hope that Genius Foods can squeeze out every last bit of value from this seed.