When founder Somdeep Dey was a master student of computer science at the University of Manchester, his parents got into a horrific car accident. He sent all his money back to his parents in India to help with their medical bills, but then he faced a problem many were familiar with: if he didn’t pay for another week. was going, so how should they have fed themselves?
“Luckily, this happened when summer vacation started, so a lot of students were going out and throwing away literally unopened food,” Day recalled. “I realized that there’s a lot of trash that can be used by other people who might need it.”
It helped him fill up in times of crisis, but as an AI researcher, he started thinking about how technology could help reduce food waste and feed the hungry. As Day completed his Masters and went on to pursue his PhD at the University of Essex, he developed a company called Nosh Technologies With co-founder Suman Saha.
With nearly 13,000 users across Android and iOS, the Nosh app helps users log the expiration dates on their groceries to remind them what they’ve bought before it goes bad.
Using AI, the app learns about a user’s consumption and waste habits, generating weekly analytics that help the user reduce their waste and save money at the grocery store. The app can scan barcodes and even grocery receipts directly into the app, but users can also manually input data. Then, once the contents of a user’s pantry and fridge are loaded into the app, they can search for existing recipes online that will help them use up their stock before it goes to waste.
In the future, Day wants to offer a premium membership, which will include access to an AI that will create new, personalized dishes based on what you eat at home.
“Our current users reported that by using the app, they saved about £40 to 50 per month, which they could have wasted,” Day told Nerdshala.
As part of Startup Alley at Nerdshala Disrupt, Nosh is unveiling its latest features, which are in line with Day’s original inspiration for the company. it includes nosh daily, a collaborative blog of the app, and Nosh Shop, which allows restaurants to sell foods that may soon perish at a discounted rate.
By charging a 10% service charge, the startup can start making some money – right now, it has only raised £33,000 in pre-seed money and has nine employees. Of that service fee, Day says about 3% will be donated to charities combating food waste.
Too Good To Go, which is also based in Europe, recently raised $31.1 million to achieve a goal similar to Nosh Shop. But Day says Nosh sets itself apart by allowing restaurants to sell their food at a higher price than Good To Go. This will motivate more restaurants to use their apps (and in turn, reduce food waste) as they can make better profits. Too Good To Go sells food at a third of its original price, but Nosh Shop will allow restaurants to price their perishable food up to 70% of its original price.
While this may help the restaurant, it is up to consumers whether they will pay for that meal at a lower discount. To start, Nosh Shop will launch locally in selected locations in the UK