They launch an app that refunds up to 60% of the price to those who buy food that is about to expire
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimated that in Argentina around 16 million tons of food go to waste every year. In order to reduce that number, three Argentine partners will launch a mobile application called Kigüi that will reimburse up to 60% to those who buy food that is about to expire.
The benefit will apply to dairy products, meats, sausages, snacks, soft drinks and baked goods a few days before its consumption deadline. “The app is going to be out soon, the idea is that it be out before the end of the month,” he told THE NATION the entrepreneur Mauricio Kremer.
On how it will work, he explained: “You enter the application and see the discounts for each category. For example, yogurts that expire in ten days have a 30% discount. When you see that offer, you look for that yogurt on the shelf, you buy it as it was always done, you get home, you take a photo of the ticket and another photo of the product with the expiration date. We give a refund of that money in the bank account within 72 hours”.
The reimbursement percentage will depend on the consumption margin of the product that is about to expire. The shorter the useful life, the greater the discount, which will range from 60% to 20%. Kremer clarified that the food brands themselves face the payment: “It works like a Google Ads campaign, where a budget is set to rescue products and then it begins to be executed on consumers through us.”
“Our main clients at this moment –he continued- are the food producers. We are closing some agreements, there will be an offer of the main products of the shopping basket”.
1-Enter the app where the discounts are by category and expiration date.
2-Buy the product at any store.
3-Photograph the product with its expiration date and the purchase receipt.
4-Enter the app and upload the photos.
5-In the next 72 business hours, Kigüi approves the refund and deposits it in the user’s account.
Of the around 16 million tons of food that are thrown away per year in Argentina, 25% is due to having expired in supermarkets. Kigüi has as a goal to reduce those 4 million, although the percentage has not yet been estimated and will depend on the reception that the project has in society.
“Consumers rescue a product that was going to be thrown away. Through this incentive that we give to the consumer, there is the possibility of reducing food waste. With this we help food producers, giving the customer a tool to buy that product that is about to expire”, Kremer said.
The refund is made in the following 72 business hours to a customer’s bank account
Gonzalo Castro Pena Y Maximiliano Dicranian, both natives of the city of Buenos Aires, are partners with Kremer, born in Entre Ríos but living in CABA since he began his university studies. “We met at the IAE studying an MBA, where the first idea arose as a thesis project and we decided to face this undertaking together, the three of us”, Mauricio specified.
And he added: “The three of us had left our jobs in the ‘corpo’ world looking for a change.” Dicranian was linked to the energy industry while Castro Peña was in Bigbox. Both are industrial engineers graduated from the Technological Institute of Buenos Aires (ITBA). Kremer, meanwhile, spent eight years in business administration before changing course.
With Kigüi they started in January 2020, shortly before the pandemic, and in October of that year they were guaranteed funds: “We closed an investment round of USD 255,000 with angel investors and Newtopia VC, which is the fund where several owners of Argentine unicorns and some athletes like (Emanuel) Ginóbili who are supporting the ecosystem have invested.”
Currently there are a dozen people working on the project, most of them programmers and data analysts. The objective of the entrepreneurs is to incorporate workers for two other positions and from its launch to reach a large part of the community.