Waste not want not: Perth startup Fooduction sets a higher goal

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What if you could connect people who wanted cheap, fresh food with establishments that were about to throw out perfectly edible left over meals and produce?

So you’re a poor startup founder (… not you of course, but play along for a minute), and you need to buy some food, but are a bit low on money. You don’t want to go through all the online shopping palaver or order a full blown restaurant meal delivered to your door … surely there’s a better, cheaper option?

Well, yes there is, thanks to a Perth-based accountant who launched his Fooduction app last year.

Users can buy perfectly good food from local establishments that would otherwise have thrown it away by the end of the day.

“It’s fresh, affordable and cheaper than cooking mostly.” Fooduction founder Viral Shah told Startup News, “Our new leftover recipe feature also allows users to tell the app what extra ingredients they have in their homes and the app will show them recipes based around those ingredients. Less food waste!”

Viral had the idea one day while working with one of his accountant clients.

“A chef walked in with three bags of lettuce (stock) that she was about to throw away,” said Viral, “I thought about this for a while and realised that while there are many food booking apps, there is no easy way to deal with the excess food, which could be a large market.”

“We make food more affordable, increase business profits and save the environment.” said Viral, “Our customers are app users and businesses who sell food through our platform. Users pay us a small fee and businesses pay a small fixed fee on each sale.”

Potential users are all those people who like good deals, are happy ordering takeaway food and perhaps don’t like to see food go to waste. Fooduction’s first market has been penny-conscious university students who are comfortable with technology.

Next steps

Viral developed the app in India, and his wife and business partner Roopika (see main photo) helps with operations. They are expecting to hire a full-time digital marketer in the next 4-6 months to fuel expansion.

To date the business has been funded through savings, other business ventures, the R&D tax offset & wage subsidy. Viral wants to grow the business before thinking about taking on investors.

Viral spoke last May at Perth Morning Startup (watch the video here courtesy of Niche Interview) which was well received. He’s had some mixed reviews on social media and around the various app stores, although the service averages 4 or 5 stars in most places.

For now, he is working on the next version of the app which should be ready “in 6-8 weeks’ time” and plans to send 10,000 transactions through the app by the end of the current financial year.

Startup Advice

“I’d encourage (startups) to seek help and talk to as many people as they can before starting out.” Viral told Startup News, “Knowing your product-market fit is the best thing you can do to help your chances of success.”

“One thing I do to stay sane is by writing a journal (about my startup journey). I know why we have started this mission and what our vision will achieve and that keeps me going despite facing all the typical startup issues.”

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Fooduction is available as an app on Android and iTunes

For more: https://fooduction.com.au/

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