July 21, 2021 — ‘Next Generation’ food supply company Collectiv Food has raised £ 12million (US $ 16.3million) in its Series A funding round – the largest Series A registered for a managed B2B food market in Europe. The UK-based company aspires to transform access to and distribution of fresh produce in cities, bringing more transparency to food while reducing carbon emissions and reducing prices.
“We believe the industry has reached an inflection point where the existing modus operandi will no longer be viable. To build a healthier and better food system, we not only need full product transparency, we also need a sustainable way to reach consumers, ”says Matthieu Vermersch, CEO of VisVires New Protein ( VVNP), one of the companies that led the fundraising round.
The cycle was also led by VNV Global, Octopus Ventures, Norrsken VC and existing investors such as Partech, Colle Capital and Mustard Seed.
Collectiv operates by sourcing quality food products directly from a network of thousands of producers, removing the wholesaler and delivering directly to professional kitchens, meal kit companies and stores.
Collectiv also sells on demand, not by catalog, and selects producers based on buyers’ needs. All products are then consolidated through a distribution model before reaching the customer. The model offers full transparency and traceability, with no relabeling or masking of producer brands.
The model is also supported by durability. Its last mile delivery uses ‘PODs’ (distribution points) in abandoned urban locations, resulting in up to 50% less CO2 emissions than traditional delivery methods. This decentralized model allows for lower prices, fresher products and reliable service.
“We’re being pushed by a combination of strong tailwinds: end consumers are demanding a better understanding of where it’s coming from, cities implementing air pollution regulations that limit important freight, and a post-COVID hospitality industry.” 19 desperate to improve its margins but with limited availability of staff to facilitate this internally ”, explains Jeremy Hibbert-Garibaldi, founder of Collectiv.
Winds of change
The Series A investment places the company in a strong position to capitalize on the opportunity to provide better service to food operators, with the European market set to grow from £ 145 billion (US $ 197 billion) to 200 billion pounds sterling (272 billion US dollars) over the next five years.
The company is now poised to tackle the B2B food distribution market, which Collectiv estimates at £ 145 billion (US $ 197 billion) in Europe alone.
The investment will be used to further develop Collectiv’s innovative delivery and sourcing models and expand the team, preparing for further expansion in Europe.
It will also allow for further development of Collectiv’s Producer Sustainability Index, providing ratings on each producer and enabling more informed decisions for the customer.
Collectiv has already recorded 200% customer growth over the past year; its offering has sparked the interest of many in the hospitality industry, providing invaluable support and cost savings at a time when the dual impact of COVID-19 and Brexit has resulted in an acute shortage of staff and hotel chains. supply unreliable.
“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,” says Hibbert-Garibaldi.
Currently present in the UK and France, it is “among the first” to challenge a capital-intensive, low-margin industry. Built before the Internet, B2B food distribution has been slow to innovate, the company says, especially in areas such as automation and transparency and despite growing consumer demand for the latter.
Echoing this sentiment, Innova Market Insights named “Transparency Triumphs” as its number one top ten trend for 2021.
“Collectiv’s innovative managed market connects a fragmented supply of producers with the highly fragmented demand for professional kitchens, creating improved transparency among other clear network improvements for all stakeholders,” adds Björn von Sivers, chief investment officer at VNV Global.
Brands that currently use Collectiv include Big Mamma Group, The Hush Collection, Dirty Bones, Megan’s, Crussh, Butchies, Cocotte, Tossed, and Fresh Fitness Food.
Edited by Missy Green
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