Italian e-commerce business Cortilia has raised €8.5 million to expand its farm-to-table style grocery delivery service. The Series B round is funded by leading food and agtech investor Five Seasons Ventures and the largest VC fund in Italy, Indaco Ventures.
Based in northern Italy, Cortilia allows customers to order 2,000 items from local farmers, producers and artisans. The service has a dual impact on the Italian population: it brings seasonal Italian food to the online generation, and brings modern grocery delivery to offline generations who value fresh, regional products.
The trick is getting people to actually use an online delivery service. The Italian grocery market is worth €150 billion, but online service adoption is less than one percent. So, the greatest opportunity facing the company is also its greatest challenge.
Cortilla founder and CEO Marco Porcaro is undeterred: “I am immensely proud that companies in the world of venture capital as important as Five Seasons and Indaco SGR have decided to invest in Cortilia. A season of great challenges await us and we will tackle them with even greater enthusiasm, because as Italians, we want to play a key role when it comes to innovation in distribution in our country, where online shopping is still in its infancy. We hope that consumers seeking a model that differs from the one proposed by the large-scale retail trade will find what they are looking for in Cortilia.”
As the business grows, Cortilia aims to keep efficiency and sustainability at the core of its mission. The service uses technology to carefully monitor everything from farmer supply chains to delivery optimization. In fact, the company’s product surplus amounts to only one percent of its total grocery volume. The surplus is then donated to Banco Alimentare, an NGO that fights hunger and food waste.