Produce is getting a longer life expectancy
Ryp Labs has developed a sticker that creates a protective layer around fruits and vegetables to slow down over-ripening and spoilage – minimizing food waste at every stage of the supply chain.
“We consider ourselves a food protection and waste reduction company,” explained Moody Soliman, the Seattle-based startup’s CEO. “Our mission is to end global food waste by using safe, sustainable, and plant-based technology. We can extend the shelf life of fresh produce anywhere from 40 to 100 percent.”
An event for impact
Soliman and four team members from Ryp Labs attended VivaTech in 2023 on the Impact Mile, the event’s exclusive selection of tech aiming to build a sustainable future.
Even though he lost his voice on the third day, Soliman and the team pitched their solution to VivaTech’s 150,000 attendees during the four-day event. “[Exhibiting on the Impact Mile] was a really great, engaging experience. We had visitors at our booth throughout the whole day for the entire event,” Soliman said.
Ryp Labs booth at VivaTech 2023. Photo credit: VivaTech
Building an international network
Following the event last June, the startup’s inbox was full of follow-up requests for interviews and product samples from new connections around the world.
“That was one of the biggest differentiators between VivaTech and other conferences,” explained Soliman. “Usually, if we attend a conference in Spain, France, or anywhere else, we get a lot of interest locally or maybe from the surrounding region. But with VivaTech, we got requests from Qatar, Iran, Chile, and other European countries from people who had seen us at the event.”
“We were able to grow our network quite a bit from an investment standpoint and then potential customers or clients as well,” he added.
On the road to $8.1 million
At the end of 2023, Ryp Labs led a fundraising campaign for a Series A. With an original goal of $7.5 million, the startup ended up closing well over this objective with a total of $8.1 million.
“Indirectly, [VivaTech] absolutely contributed to this,” Soliman told us. “We were just going into the summer and it gave us a lot of momentum carrying the fundraiser through the summer and closing.”
“We're quite strategic about which conferences we go to because we're a small team. So we went to VivaTech for a lot of different reasons, for the potential of meeting investors, customers, and whatnot. But also for the visibility and the momentum that it will result in.”
The difference a Ryp Labs sticker can make in food spoilage. Photo credit: VivaTech
Everyone’s got rotting strawberries
With a large sum to work with, Ryp Labs now has room to grow. They plan on using the funds raised for a commercial launch of the food stickers.
While their technology is marketed towards a B2B market, everyday consumers see a need for it. “We’ve all had a box of strawberries that starts rotting in our refrigerators after just one day. What we do resonates with a lot of people,” Soliman observed.
“We're starting with a soft launch with a focus on strawberries,” he said. “And continuing our product development and R&D work for other product lines coming soon.”
Soliman’s advice for first-timers
Ryp Labs' global exposure growth is a great example of the VivaTech ripple effect. Now with one VivaTech under his belt, we asked the CEO for his advice on navigating the event as a first-time exhibitor.
“Pack some honey, so you don't lose your voice,” he laughed. “You’ll be doing plenty of talking. But also plan on having more than one team member and ideally at least like three people, because during the busy hours, you're getting pulled in all different directions. But just be ready for some fun, engaging few days from start to finish.”
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