Having passed the milestone of half a million users earlier this month, OLIO, the food-sharing app founded in Bath, today announces that it has raised a $6m Series A round. This injection of capital will be used to double the size of the team – with a particular focus on product – and to expand their “Food Waste Heroes Programme” which enables retailers, events and corporate canteens to become zero food waste.

The round was led by Octopus Ventures, with existing investors including Accel, Quadia, and Quentin Griffiths (CoFounder of ASOS & Achica) following on. New investors joining Octopus include Lord Waheed Alli’s Silvergate Investments 2, Bran Investments, Julien Codorniou (Facebook) and Jason Stockwood (Match.com, Simply Business).

OLIO is the world’s only neighbour-to-neighbour food sharing app, and is tackling the problem of food waste by connecting users with surplus food (households or businesses), with those living nearby who would like it. In doing so, they have created an incredibly passionate community that has shared over 600,000 portions of food in just over two years.

Food waste is increasingly recognized as one of the most pressing problems facing humanity today. Globally 1/3 of all food produced gets thrown away – which is worth over $1 trillion per year – meanwhile 800 million people go to bed hungry each night. It is also environmentally devastating as food waste is the 3rd largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, after the USA & China. OLIO is specifically tackling food waste in the home and local community, which in developed countries accounts for well over half of all food waste: the average UK family for example throws away £800 of food per year that could have been eaten – collectively adding up to £15bn.

Co-Founder & CEO Tessa Clarke said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be working with the Octopus team to unlock our vision of a world with hundreds of millions of hyper-local food sharing networks, so that our most precious resources can be shared, not thrown away.” She added: “We are also extremely proud to have closed this round not only as one of a handful of female founded businesses, but also as part of the small but growing group of ‘tech for good’ companies.”

Co-Founder & COO Saasha Celestial-One said: “We’ve achieved an incredible amount with a very lean team, and can’t wait for this next stage when we can really start to unlock the true potential of OLIO.”

Zoe Chambers at Octopus added: “We are incredibly excited to be supporting Tessa and Saasha in the next stage of OLIO’s journey. We are proud to back inspirational and passionate founders and are delighted that we are able to add Tessa and Saasha to our fantastic set of 10 other female founders in our portfolio. Beyond the obvious and important benefits to the environment, OLIO is an online digital platform which is changing offline consumer behaviour by facilitating real-world interactions between neighbours for the purpose of sharing and redistributing valuable resources that would otherwise be wasted.”