An online trading platform billing itself as ‘the eBay of grocery’ has won joint venture backing after setting up a business selling surplus food on behalf of some of the UK’s biggest retailers and suppliers.
Takestock.com is a marketplace for surplus food and drink, including beverages, fresh fruit and frozen food, but also sells food packaging and other equipment.
The investment, from Ascension Ventures, a venture capital firm specialising in early-stage digital and tech companies, is believed to be in the region of £150,000 for about 15% of the business.
Takestock, which launched in November, typically sells the surplus products it sources to pubs and restaurants. It supports transactions through direct bank transfer, credit and debit cards, PayPal and Stripe, with payments, negotiated on an offer-based trading system, held in a bank account for seven days to allow for any dispute before completion.
Sellers can choose whether they offer delivery or if delivery costs are paid for by the buyers and, as with eBay, build up reliability ratings on the site.
“There’s no reason why we can’t follow the likes of eBay, Gumtree and even the likes of Amazon and do the same thing in the food and drink industry,” said Takestock CEO and co-founder Campbell Murray. “If we crack it it’s going to be a very big business.”
Murray, a former director at Vodafone, added Takestock offered a much-needed new way for retailers and suppliers to tackle potential food waste. “£1bn of groceries goes straight to landfill and I would guess that’s an underestimate,” he said. “The efforts to reduce waste have been slowing down.”
Ascension’s investment is backed by the government’s SEIS scheme, which provides tax incentives to investors in small businesses.