Tximista Lizarazu of Fraîche Answers Four Questions for Founders
Fraîche is a growing B2B food-tech startup that started in 2019. They are leveraging their smart-fridge platform to give offices 24/7 access to the most sustainable, healthy food/brands of NYC.
1. Tell us about the journey since Fraîche’s launch.
The primary mission was to have an impact in the food space, leveraging technology to bring down operational costs and accordingly invest more into increasing quality and transparency. We ended up creating our own platform because what existed out there was not a good enough experience for what we wanted our customers to live and feel using Fraîche.
In 2019, we launched a few POC in major NYC offices like Publicis & Accenture, and we had 5 smart fridges live when COVID hit. Being mainly in offices, we lost 100% of our revenue in one day when the governor announced every office needed to close for an unknown period of time in March 2020.
We focused our energy building a world-class product while not being operational in the field and were lucky enough to launch our first pilot at the Newlab end of 2020.
2. How are you applying transformative technology to create a positive impact?
The new normal, after COVID, will reimagine how offices function and how people will work in the future; with more flexibility (remote work will be included in the mix, but we believe the office will remain the primary place).
Size of offices will decrease and have already begun to do so, so companies are looking for flexible and efficient food solutions to optimize their space better, while still staying attractive to talent.
Companies will need to be more creative to encourage people to come back to the office, and employers will need to offer new perks and services to ensure safety, convenience, and happiness at the workplace.
The current crisis marks the end of a cycle. Classic brick and mortar cafeterias don’t make sense anymore for so many reasons: long-term contracts, external labour, long and painful construction, and huge investments overall for a bad experience. Fraîche is answering these pain-points by bringing healthy food to people where & when they need it with a more sustainable approach (in contrast to other new solutions like delivery apps which underpay someone to deliver one customer at the time).
3. What has been your biggest challenge as founder, and how have you learned from it?
COVID has shaken the entire foodservice market in offices and commercial buildings. Our most significant challenge was responding to and reimagining our solution following office closures and the changing needs of our customer base.
In response, we developed our own smart fridge technology; it leverages computer vision for object recognition and unlocks with facial recognition to offer the most frictionless experience possible to our customers. This technology is a game-changer for different reasons: frictionless & touchless transaction, unique customer experience with access to menu & live inventory on the mobile app.
Fraîche now has an unprecedented opportunity combined with market and office reopening momentum to flood the NYC market.
4. What role has Newlab played in helping you advance Fraîche?
New York has always been an amazing epicenter of incredible talent from all over the world. Newlab represents the best of this, with a focus on hardware and transformative technology. It is super inspiring for us as founders to be part of this community that is building so many crazy smart things for a better future. We have actively customer feedback from fellow Newlab members and have had many meaningful conversations with the community about how we can best position Fraîche to serve customers and meet our goals. We hope we will all play a big role in bringing back the city to life and rebuilding it, better. We’re all missing this energy, but we will be back stronger and continue to build things for a better NYC & world.
Join over 160 member companies and 800 experts and innovators applying transformative technology to the world’s biggest challenges.
Apply for Newlab membership.