With a capital raise of 10 million, Völur brings artificial intelligence to the meat industry.
You can read the whole article in Shifter here.
Robert Ekrem worked for several years at Nortura, Norway's largest producer of meat and egg products. He then became category manager at NorgesGruppen.
After several years working closely with the meat industry, he gained insight into how complex the industry is and that it is challenging to find optimal solutions based on current technology.
Meat cutting and processing is handled today through manual analyses, long experience, and a deep understanding of the industry. The challenge is that the issue is so complex that it is difficult for the industry, here in Norway and abroad, to find optimal solutions based on today's tools, says Ekrem.
Völur is an Old Norse word meaning a woman who looks into the future, a kind of oracle.
In many ways, this is how Ekrem and the founders see the mission and vision of the company with the same name.
In combination with new technological solutions and AI, Völur can handle the meat industry's complexity and optimize both cutting and processing based on market needs. It ensures the optimal use of each animal.
The team includes the investment framework of StartupLab, Simula, Smart Innovation Norway, Middelborg, and several angel investors.
The company has raised NOK 10 million with additional support from Innovation Norway.
The industry operates with insane volumes and is a billion-dollar industry. If you optimize a few percent, the value increases significantly, says Ekrem.
Several international meat producers have already shown great interest in the system, according to Ekrem.
In addition to the value of the optimization of cutting and processing, there are also sustainability benefits.
Völur has been admitted to Microsoft's Startup program, and one of the important criteria was a sustainability aspect.
The company has the potential to have a major positive impact on the meat industry and make it more sustainable. Sustainability is at the top of the agenda at Microsoft, and we are proud to be able to support Völur through our Microsoft for Startups program. We look forward to a close collaboration going forward, says Microsoft for Startups Norway Team Lead, Izabela Hawrylko in a press release.
Abelia and ODA have named Völur’s Rebecca Wiborg Seyfarth one of Norway’s 50 leading women in tech for 2023. The honor is given to women who excel in understanding technology and have significantly contributed to diversity and inclusion in technology.
Cutting decisions can significantly affect the profitability of meat processing plants, as numerous options are available for dividing and packaging each carcass. This is how AI and technology can help the meat industry increase profitability.