In the modern world we tend to like knowing where our food comes from and this has massively influenced professional kitchens. For decades, food suppliers have sat on one side and distribution channels (restaurants and others) on the other. But the big wholesalers in the middle have traditionally crushed producers on prices and late payments. Professional kitchens can get around this by going directly to food producers. But they can’t handle hundreds of direct relationships. It simply was not possible. Up to the Internet.
Collective food is a new startup that is tackling this problem with a fresh take on the food supply chain model. It sources directly from suppliers, unlocking price advantages for suppliers and buyers, he says. Its competitors include Brakes, Bidfood and Transgourmet.
It has now raised £ 12million / $ 16million in its Series A funding round led by VNV Global, with VisVires New Protein (VVNP), Octopus Ventures, Norrsken VC and existing investors including Partech, Colle Capital and Mustard Seed. Frontline Ventures was the first investor in 2017.
Launched in 2019, Collectiv operates so far in the UK and France. It operates by sourcing directly from producers, by disintermediating the wholesale intermediary and by delivering directly to professional kitchens. Customers include restaurants, hotels, catering companies, meal kit companies, and dark kitchens. The company claims that this approach generates 50% less CO2 emissions than traditional sourcing methods: better prices, fresher products, transparency, traceability and more reliable service.
Customers include Big Mamma Group, The Hush Collection, Dirty Bones, Megan’s, Crussh, Butchies, Cocotte, Tossed and Fresh Fitness Food.
Collectiv founder Jeremy Hibbert-Garibaldi said in a statement: “We are driven by a combination of strong tailwinds: end consumers demand a better understanding of provenance; cities implementing air pollution regulations that limit important freight a post-Covid hotel industry desperate to improve its margins but with limited staff availability to facilitate this internally. Combined with our innovative model, we are able to aim not only to become a European leader in food distribution over the next few years, but even a world leader.
Björn von Sivers, Director of Investments at VNV Global, said: “Collectiv’s innovative managed marketplace connects a fragmented supply of producers with the highly fragmented demand for professional kitchens, creating increased transparency among other clear network improvements. for all stakeholders. “
In his former profession as a forensic accountant, Hibbert-Garibaldi discovered Collective’s business model after investigating one of the UK’s largest supermarket chains and their wholesale food arm, mostly for code of conduct violations. , like the way they were behaving with their suppliers. “I quickly realized that food supply chains were broken, with too much opacity and malpractice, and ultimately not benefiting either side of the market,” he said.
Rooted in a passion for cooking from his French and Italian origins, he quit his job and spent months in restaurant kitchens to understand the problems they were facing: “I wanted to understand why it was so difficult for them to s. ” sourcing the right products, knowing exactly where their food came from and receiving those products reliably and sustainably whenever they needed them. Using this, I built my case study to speak to investors and start the business. “
It remains to be seen whether Collectiv can scale up or take a part of the vast food supply chain industry, but if it does end up attracting both suppliers and distributors, it will be very interesting to watch.