Collectiv Food, the next generation food supply business transforming how fresh products are accessed and distributed within cities, has secured €13.9 million in its Series A funding round. The round has been led by VNV Global, along with VisVires New Protein (VVNP), Octopus Ventures, Norrsken VC, and existing investors such as Partech and Mustard Seed.
The fresh capital will be used to further develop Collectiv’s innovative delivery and sourcing models and expand the team, across all functions, gearing up for further international expansion in Europe.
Launched with its first customers in 2019, Collectiv is setting a new standard in B2B food distribution, addressing a market worth €168 billion in Europe alone. Already operating in the UK and France, it is amongst the first to challenge this capital-intensive and low-margin industry which, built pre-internet, has been slow to innovate, particularly in areas such as automation and transparency and despite increasing consumer demand for the latter.
Collectiv has already seen 200% growth in its customer base over the past year; its offering has piqued 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 have resulted in acute staff shortages and unreliable supply chains.
The young company operates by sourcing great quality food produce directly from a network of thousands of producers, cutting out the wholesaler middleman and delivering straight to professional kitchens – with customers ranging from restaurants and hotels to catering firms, meal-kit companies, and dark kitchens and stores. Its ‘greener’ last mile delivery utilises PODs (Points of Distribution) in disused city locations and results in up to 50% less CO2 emissions than traditional methods. This decentralised model enables it to offer market-beating prices, fresher products and a reliable service, all underpinned by a commitment to sustainability.
Setting it apart from traditional wholesalers or catering butchers, Collectiv sells on demand, not by catalogue, and carefully selects producers to match buyers’ needs. All products are then consolidated through an innovative distribution model before reaching the customer. The model offers full transparency and traceability, with no relabelling or hiding producers’ brands, and the Series A funding will allow further development of Collectiv’s Producer Sustainability Index, providing ratings on each producer and enabling better informed decisions for the customer.
Collectiv founder Jeremy Hibbert-Garibaldi commented: “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.”