Singapore-based TreeDots that claims to be the first food surplus marketplace in Asia has recently raised $11 million in a Series A funding round led by East Ventures and Amasia.
The funding round also saw participation from other investors including Seeds Capital, Active Fund, and individual investors-actress Fiona Xe and author Nir Eyal.
TreeDots will be using the fresh funds to grow its operations in Malaysia, where it expanded in 2020, and enter other markets while continuing to optimize its supply chain and logistics business, called TreeLogs. The firm claims that its GMV has surged more than 4x in the last couple of years.
TreeDots runs a marketplace for imperfect and surplus food supplies to reduce food wastage, especially edible food that is discarded. TreeDots also provides suppliers with logistics services, enabling them to focus their efforts on manufacturing and food processing.
“We realised that a grocery chain might not buy a chicken that’s too big or has a broken bone because it looks funny on their shelves. But F&B (food and beverage) outlets don’t care because they will cut it, plate it and make it look nice before serving,” said Tylor Jong, co-founder and chief executive officer of TreeDots. “So if they can purchase essentially the same product at prices up to 90 per cent cheaper than alternatives, they are very happy.”
TreeDots was founded in 2018 by Nicholas Lim, Lau Jia Cai, and Tylor Jong as a surplus food marketplace for Food & Beverage business before it expanded into social commerce platform that offers consumers to purchase products at discounted rates. It delivers several orders to a single address, and neighbors can pick up their order from this household.
According to United Nations Environment Programme’s Food Waste Index Report 2021, in 2019 about 931 million tonnes of food waste was generated or around 17 percent of total global food production. Out of this, 11 percent was from households, 5 percent from retail, and 2 percent from retail.
The startup makes money by charging fees from buyers, as well as earning through buying and selling goods. TreeDots has over 22,000 stock-keeping units and has an ecommerce app as well through which retail consumers can buy a few food items through group purchase. However, this is a small part of their business and the company mainly focuses on the B2B arm.
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