Well it looks like today is the day for food supply chain startups. London’s Collectiv Food picked up £12 million, while Berlin’s Choco has just closed in on a $100 million. From where I’m sitting, this only means higher quality food for us all. Win/win. Choco’s recent funding arrives just over a year after a $63.7 million Series A round, and since founding in 2018 the firm has raised a total of $171.5 million.
Choco is helping to reshape the food industry in a post-pandemic world through rapid digitisation. The platform provides an ordering workflow and communications process for producers and restaurants, a mechanism that aims to reduce, if not eliminate, a number of traditional operating expenses.
Over the past 16 months the food industry was shaken to its core, and those that have survived did so by rapidly adapting to the changes tides. Choco is seizing the day and aims to help food providers meet both growing customer expectations of a transparent and sustainable food supply chain, as well as combat climate change.
With as much as 40% of the world’s food going to waste before reaching a customer’s plate, the industry holds the dubious position of being the third-largest driver of climate change, namely, due to deforestation. In digitising and facilitating the process between suppliers, distributors, and restaurants, the startup aims to provide a system that produces dramatically less waste and promotes business growth.
The startup counts over 10,000 active restaurants and suppliers in six operational markets: The United States, Germany, France, Spain, Austria, and Belgium, with transaction volumes quadrupling in the last year alone. Choco notes that these numbers are further accelerating as more and more areas around the world are emerging from strict lockdown and restaurants are keen to get their in-house kitchens up and running again.
CEO Daniel Khachab commented, “Food supply chains across the globe have been stress tested in the last 15 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This financing round enables us to build the technological backbone to make global food systems resilient, flexible, and less wasteful. We have a big mission: to eradicate food waste – and this capital allows us to expand globally, assemble a world-class team and deliver a product and service that is indispensable for restaurants and suppliers looking to operate more profitably, efficiently, and sustainably.”
Photo: Saskia Uppenkamp