Geev: the anti-waste app that relies on donations is diversifying into food

Separate yourself from your old sofa, your old coffee maker or the toys your child has put in his closet and given to others. This is what the private donation platform Geev has offered so far. With its website and app, the young French company has digitized donation and boosted its practice. Two years after its creation, it has a community of 1.5 million registered people and has seen some 2 million objects change hands during that time. The start-up has taken a step forward and now offers its users to also give… food. If the idea may seem surprising at first glance – isn’t the food that you throw away supposed to be outdated? – the founders of Geev are convinced that it will make its way into consumer behavior.

“Each year, a French person throws away 29 kilos of food per year, including seven kilos still packed”, indicates one of the two founders, Hakim Baka, citing figures from Ademe. “We are just before leaving on vacation, the moment when you don’t know what to do with what you have in your fridge, but the subject is repeated all year round: ‘I bought too much for a dinner or a party, what do I do with it? ‘ or ‘I bought large quantities on promotion and I have too many’, etc “, he lists. Fresh products still packaged or dry, cans, biscuits, fruits and vegetables – and why not those from your garden – can thus be sold to others.

With, since it is about products to be consumed, safeguards. Geev is based on rules already proven in food donation – a certain number of products such as refrigerated pastries made with pastry cream or whipped cream, shellfish or even chilled steaks, prepackaged or not, cannot be donated. Moderate announcements before publication are accompanied by an expiration date, supporting photo, and withdrawn as soon as it is reached. “We must also take into account the vigilance of the consumer who will check whether the product seems to be consumable or not,” adds Hakim Baka.

Extremely promising context

Geev’s goal? Reach some 10,000 food donations per month by the end of the year. The ambition seems reasonable since on objects, the platform identifies 15 times more each month. “We have been testing this new donation segment on our platform in recent months,” says Hakim Baka. “And we did a survey of our community: 82% said they were ready to donate or collect food.” What consolidates this turning point in the development of the start-up.

It must be said that Geev also benefits from an extremely promising context: the fight against waste, food or not, is on the political agenda, companies are developing more and more eco-responsible initiatives and consumers are increasingly in addition sensitive to the subject. By offering a person-to-person solution based on donation, the start-up finds its place in a constellation of anti-waste solutions that have flourished in recent years. “What is interesting is that Geev is coming out of a monetary logic”, confirms Marine Foulon, communications officer for the Zero Waste France association.

“It is about circulating objects, not wasting them by accumulating them at home.” “We have the same vision, the same objective of reducing waste”, also indicates Camille Colbus, deputy general manager of Too Good To Go. The application with 5 million downloads which allows users to recover unsold items from more of 9,000 partner merchants –and to the latter to revalue their unsold products in this way–, sees Geev as complementary to their activity.

Marine Foulon also points to the “relocation of consumption” allowed by the platform via geolocation and the resulting social link. Because it is the donor who chooses which person who shows interest to entrust his object. “The donation can be an option to a failed sale but is also an alternative to the sale”, explains Hakim Baka who indicates that people find themselves around the donation even if they can have different motivations, ecological for some, “practical. practices “for others.

Monetization

It remains to find a viable economic model for this platform based on… donation. Geev successfully completed two fundraising events, raising a total of 3.5 million euros. If initially, Hakim Baka and Florian Blanc, 35 years old each and both from business school, the first having worked in digital advertising and the second having a rather financial background, tested their service to the French , first via a Facebook group in 2016 and then by creating the current platform in April 2017, they have no shortage of ideas to monetize their activity. Via advertising on the one hand and via a premium version which is expected to be redesigned in the fall: for a few euros per month, this paid version would allow the user, for example, to benefit from alerts on a desired product. But the donation remains free. Another track under consideration: to develop synergies with merchants since part of consumers’ purchases are used to replace an item they own. Geev is a solution to the fate of the replaced object.

If Hakim Baka is extremely cautious about their objectives, he slips hope to be profitable “within four to five years” but that will also depend on the investments made. Because Geev’s ambition is to become a European platform and the service could be open to other countries such as Germany or the United Kingdom, from next year.