Next Gen food supply start-up Collectiv Food has raised £12 million in its Series A funding round. Led by a range of new and existing investors including VNV Global, VisVires New Protein (VVNP), Octopus Ventures, Norrsken VC, Partech, Colle Capital and Mustard Seed, the round represents the largest recorded Series A for a managed B2B food marketplace in Europe. The start-up plans to use the investment to expand the team and innovate delivery and sourcing models, all in its attempt to penetrate the European market.
Collectiv Food seeks to transform how fresh products are sourced and delivered to professional kitchens throughout cities by cutting out the wholesaler. Launched in 2019, the B2B service works to strengthen supply chains through transparency and sustainability, whilst remaining reliable and cost friendly. It currently operates in the UK and France and customers include restaurants, hotels, catering firms, meal-kit companies and dark kitchens.
In a press release, Collectiv claims to be the first company to challenge the capital-intensive and low margin industry, built pre-internet, which has been slow to innovate in automation and transparency despite increasing customer demand. As such, Collectiv hopes to capitalise on the B2B food distribution business which is worth £145 billion in Europe and is expected to grow to £200 billion over the next 5 years. The start-up has already witnessed a 200% growth in its customer base over the past 12 months and attests to have provided invaluable support and price efficiency during a period when the hospitality industry has been critically impacted by both Brexit and COVID-19.
Collectiv sells on-demand and not by catalogue, and all products are carefully consolidated through a distribution model before delivery. The model offers full transparency and traceability, and pledges to no relabelling or concealing of producer’s brands. The Series A funding will allow the start-up to further develop its Producer Sustainability Index which rates producers and subsequently enables customers to make better informed decisions. Its greener last mile delivery to PODs (Points Of Distribution) across cities also contributes to 50% less CO2 emissions than traditional methods.
Founder Jeremy Hibbert-Garibaldi says: ‘It’s a really exciting time for Collectiv Food – we’re being pushed by a combination of strong tailwinds: end-consumers demanding a better understanding of provenance; cities implementing air pollution regulations that limit large freight; a post-Covid hospitality industry desperate to improve margins but with limited staff availability to facilitate this in-house. Combined with our innovative model, we’re able to set our sights on not only becoming a European leader in food distribution over the next few years, but even a global one.’ .
Investment Manager at VNV Global, Björn von Sivers, also comments: ‘We are excited to team up with Jeremy and Collectiv Food on their journey to transform Europe’s vast B2B food supply chain market. Collectiv’s innovative managed marketplace connects a fragmented supply of producers with the very fragmented demand of professional kitchens, creating improved transparency amongst other clear network improvements for all stakeholders. We look forward to continuing to support the Collectiv team as they scale the business over the coming years.’
Big Mamma Group, The Hush Collection, Dirty Bones, Megan’s, Crussh, Butchies, Cocotte, Tossed and Fresh Fitness Food are amongst some of the UK brands already using Collectiv.