A US food technology start-up headed by a Scots-born entrepreneur is to invest $3 million (£2.3m) on setting up a data “excellence hub” in Edinburgh.
New York-based Morsum, which has developed an operating and management system aimed at making life easier for food and drink producers and cutting down on waste, will initially look to recruit up to 25 data science, engineering and support staff, for its venture in the city.
I feel very lucky having the chance to give back to this amazing countryTed D’Cruz-Young
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The company is headed by founder and chief executive Ted D’Cruz-Young, who was born in Bo’ness and studied economics at the University of Glasgow, and he believes the food sector generates “intolerable” levels of waste.
According to the Waste & Resources Action Programme (Wrap) charity, total UK post-farmgate food and drink waste amounts to about ten million tonnes per year, valued at more than £17 billion – 60 per cent of which could have been avoided.
Morsum has carried out research using the field of “big data” to help understand consumers’ preferences, down to a molecular level, in a bid to help producers match demand with supply in different territories.
The firm has so far raised more than $4m in venture capital. It has existing product, engineering and mobile development centres in New York, Buenos Aires and Lisbon, along with a small team in London.
Its technology is already being used in the food services industry across the US and Europe, including in schools and hospitals, and its Edinburgh hub will act as central point of data modelling for the entire group.
D’Cruz-Young said: “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work with a pool of extraordinary Scottish talent and, in particular, Edinburgh’s rich data science and academic community.
“I am personally delighted to have the chance to spend time and build the next chapter of our business in Scotland. I feel very lucky having the chance to give back to this amazing country.”