Editor's Spotlight: Startup Focus

Verdify raises €750,000 to develop AI-powered personalised nutrition platform

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

©Verdify
©Verdify

Related tags: Verdify, AI, personalisation

Dutch foodtech firm Verdify have raised €750,000 in seed funding to create a personalised nutrition platform powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) allowing food firms to tailor recipes to consumer needs.

Together with two private investors, the funding also welcomes on board AI-investment company Genzai, who are creating Verdify 2.0 that allows automatic personalisation of food recipes through AI algorithms.

“Our aim is to provide a trusted digital environment for making food choices that are supportive of personal health,”​ says Verdify CEO, Jochem Bossenbroek.

“We are excited to welcome the new investors and together take key steps towards making a durable impact on health and social wellbeing.”

The funding will also go towards developing online operations that will allow consumers to set up their own nutrition passports containing detailed data about personal nutrition and health requirements.

Based on this information, the Verdify platform and websites of partnering companies will be able to generate a selection of recipe ideas based on details stored in the nutrition passport.

At the moment, the platform accommodates those with gut health conditions, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s Disease as well as those following a low salt or carbohydrate diets and pregnant women.

Medical and dietary expertise comes from the firm’s own dietitian and medical doctor, who have both provided input into the platform’s development during the last two years.

Order and deliver

Verdify are also looking to integrate the platform with ordering & delivery systems of food retailers and meal delivery platforms creating a seamless approach to planning and ordering personalised meals.

“Verdify is fully aligned with our motivation to invest in creative start-ups in the food industry that develop socially responsible concepts on the route from production to consumption,”​ adds Theo Cuppen, director of Joles, one of the private investors.

In order to fit into a generally healthy eating pattern, much of the ingredients, food products and recipes Verdify are using and creating align with national nutrition guidelines.

In addition, the firm says that they’ll look to specifically exclude products or recipes with high amounts of refined sugar, salt and/or saturated fatty acids or other components – an action in keeping with the  company’s mission statement.

“Food is the biggest market in the world and personalised nutrition is one of the key themes in this market,”​ says Roy Lenders, CEO of Genzai.

“We are excited to build A.I. models with Verdify that can really enable personalised nutrition for consumers around the globe.”

Verdify’s possibilities

Established in 2018, Verdify first launched the Verdify 1.0 solution app at the end of 2019 and is also being used in the CRODODILE study from Wageningen University.

In an interview​ earlier this year Bossenbroek revealed his motivations for starting Verdify and what he hoped the firm could offer in the coming years.

“I got more and more frustrated to see how much money was going towards medicine for symptom relief rather than prevention,”​ he said.

“At the same time, I was working with researchers who were studying the links between nutrition and health…Very little of this knowledge is used in practice, so that was really the spark.”

During the interview Bossenbroek also commented on the platform’s adaptability with the idea that it could prepare people for chemotherapy or aid cancer patients keep as nourished as possible during treatment.

Bossenbroek also spoke of possibilities in strengthening the relationship between life sciences and personalised nutrition, introducing DNA and blood test results along with stool analysis to strengthen user’s personalised profiles.

“We would like to contribute to clinical trials that want to test dietary interventions,”​ he said. “I think there is a big need for randomised controlled trials to find out what the impact is on a large scale…We do want to take this internationally and expand the functionality to all kinds of medical conditions.”

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