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Wednesday 21 July 2021

Backers collect more dosh for Collectiv Food’s marketplace

logoWhat I like about ‘sustainable’ food producer-to-professional kitchen marketplace Collectiv Food is that it is completely transparent about its business model. The platform is free to use for qualified food producers, and Collectiv Food applies a “fair and transparent margin” on product prices (set by the producer), which they claim is usually half that charged by traditional wholesalers and distributors. The platform is free to use by restaurants.

Based in London and incorporated in 2015, Collectiv Food launched in 2019 on the back of a seed funding round led by Partech (Source: CrunchBase). Collectiv has now closed a £12m Series A funding round led by VNV Global, along with VisVires New Protein, Octopus Ventures, Norrsken VC, and existing investors. This is apparently the largest recorded Series A for a managed B2B food marketplace in Europe (Source: UKTN).

Collectiv plays to two main angles: cutting out the middleman from the producer-to-restaurant food chain; and ‘sustainability’. As with all marketplaces, it’s actually a case of ‘middleman substitution’, with Collectiv now the ‘digital’ middleman. To reduce distribution costs, Collectiv relies on the food producer’s logistics partner delivering the products to one of Collectiv’s ‘consolidation hubs’ (basically a network of chilled containers in London), with Collectiv organising ‘last mile’ delivery.

The ‘sustainability’ angle is Collectiv’s requirement that producers ensure full product traceability and safety (of course), along with an aim to reduce single-use plastic and other initiatives such as carbon offsetting and renewable energy sources. (TBH I am not a fan of ‘carbon offsetting’ but that’s a discussion perhaps for another time).

Collectiv’s website is a benchmark in clarity and transparency and leaves virtually no question unanswered. Except, perhaps, for the only one that really counts, which is can it make money? This will mostly depend on the cost-base associated with its distribution and delivery model, which would need to be very finely tuned given the perishability of the products.

Posted by: Anthony Miller at 08:39

Tags: funding   startup   foodtech   marketplace   sustainability  

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