Fresho, a company that aims to make food supply chains more sustainable between restaurants and their suppliers, has whet the appetite of investors with a recent capital raising of £8 million ($10 million USD).
Fresho is used by tens of thousands of chefs who simply reach for their device to choose exact quantities for their needs, much like an online shopping experience but specifically tailored to the fast paced B2B food industry. Buyers see live prices and specials, allowing for informed product choices and assistance in food cost management.
Suppliers receive the order immediately in an easy-to-use dashboard, which reduces data entry, errors and helps them fulfil orders without delay. The real time sales data enables suppliers to manage purchasing more efficiently and eliminates wastage before it becomes an issue. See how it works here.
More than 38,000 foodservice venues across the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States have now used the innovative software solution, with more than £700 million ($1 billion USD) processed through the platform annually. Fresho’s user base consists of restaurants, hotels, hospitals, cafes, schools, farm shops, QSRs and independent retailers.
Fresho co-founder and Managing Director James Andronis, a former wholesale seafood senior executive from Australia, said increased investment in Fresho’s team and its leading-edge technology was driving the business.
“We’ve managed to attract some of the best talent in the UK, Australia and New Zealand and they’re steering our continued investment in state-of-the-art technology,” Mr Andronis said. Fresho now employs over 60 people after launching in the UK in 2021.
“This capital raise will enable us to accelerate our growth in the United Kingdom and a strong launch into the United States. Like our other markets, restaurants and suppliers in the US are itching to be more progressive but still working with antiquated processes such as email, phone calls, whatsapp and even the old fax machine. B2B food supply chains are changing at a rapid rate around the world with an increased focus on efficiency and lowering waste. We understand the industry and our tech solves key pain points for these businesses. The adoption of tech is speeding up and it’s fascinating to watch the industry progress at such a fast pace.”
The food service market in those four key markets is worth a whopping £330 billion and is one of the last remaining antiquated industries with a lot of offline interactions.
This funding round adds a number of new investors to a strong existing base that includes London based Primorus Investments (LON:PRIM). New investors include venture-capital firm Capital Zed, Andrew Sypkes (who was an early-stage investor in Canva, Aconex and Redbubble), and Second Quarter Ventures (Australia’s leading secondaries fund).
In London, a number of iconic venues place orders with Fresho. These include Michelin star rated restaurant Wild Honey within Sofitel St James, Polpo, 1 Lombard Street, and the Bingham Riverhouse.
The Head Chef at Wild Honey, Gergely Csaba, is one such chef ordering through Fresho, commented:
“Since taking over as Head Chef at Sofitel St James, i’ve transitioned into using Fresho. I am very specific about every bit of produce I buy, so I was nervous at first. However, Fresho makes it so easy for me to customise what I order so I get exactly what I need, when I want it.”
This collection of hospitality venues are serviced by Fresho’s customer base of food suppliers and wholesalers. One example is Southampton based owner of major food wholesaler Adams Wholesale, Ali Ahmet, who has seen the benefits of moving his ordering online with Fresho.
“Finally after 12 years of trying to develop or buy a usable online system, we met the Fresho people and got what we always wanted. Our customers can now order and pay online – it’s super simple to use and has saved us heaps of time and money already. In only a couple of months, 60% or more of my customers are now ordering on Fresho which is amazing really. We started from nothing and now we’re a £20M business – with Fresho we’re all set to grow even faster now. Fresho is exactly what I thought it would be – it’s the best piece of software we’ve ever worked with.”
Fresho’s other co-founder and Managing Director Huw Birrell, a former investment banker, reflected on the impact his business’ rapid recent growth is having in making food supply chains more sustainable.
“A combination of the depth and breadth we hold in the food supply chain across various geographies, along with our leading-edge technology means we have an incredible bank of insights into food trends and market movements.”
“We intend to use this intelligence to help drive improved sustainability in the sector and ensure increased prosperity for all participants in it. As an example, we recently worked with Apple & Pear Australia Ltd that represents Australia’s apple and pear growers to provide data on which varieties have had increasing or declining consumption which they previously had no access to. The power of this data is extraordinary and has the ability to change growing decisions in the future.”
Mr Birrell added that he and his team harbour ambition to be the world’s leading ordering platform for food supply chains, and a major source of intelligence for the food industry.