French firm Foodomarket has been trialling its service with more than 500 resturants in London over the last 12 months, but is planning to expand nationally after securing €11m in funding.
Suppliers list their products on the marketplace, and customers shop from the online store, with Foodomarket handling the payments and logistics between.
The company says buying through its platform is typically 15% cheaper for restuarants than via traditional distributors, while sellers benefit from the large pool of potential buyers, which lowers the risk of stranded assets and food waste.
“We have massive ambition in terms of market share – we’d like 5 to 6% market share and we see that happening in 12 to 18 months. We’re taking share out of the big boys, that’s our target,” said Eric Nivoix, co-founder and CEO of Foodomarket.
Initially the platform will be available to the hospitality sector within the M25, but there are plans to quickly expand to Manchester and Liverpool, “but we want to go national – that’s the plan” Nivoix added. There are also plans to expand into the US, starting with New York City.
“When we set out, our aim was to mend a broken, outdated system and generate opportunity for entrepreneurs and small business owners. We’ve had first-hand experience of launching and running restaurants, so we know the problems these business owners face day to day,” Nivoix said. “Our impressive performance in France shows we’re doing something right and launching our offering in the UK was the logical next step. We can’t wait to hit the ground running.”
The latest funding comes from a single venture capital firm, Alven Capital, which has supported other marketplace businesses including Ankorstore, Meero, and OpenClassrooms.
The money will be spent scouting for producers and suppliers, and integrating their systems with Foodomarkets, with real time stock inventory the main challenge. A UK team will also be expanded and a marketing drive mounted. The company is soon to roll out its new app and website.
The platform is currently working with around 30 suppliers but that will grow, so it can serve as a “one stop shop” for resturants.
“The trick of a marketplace is you need to grow, but not too fast, to make sure you balance the demand capacity and supply capacity. It’s the right ingredients and keeping the balance,” Nivoix explained.
Launched in Paris in 2017, Foodomarket’s growth tripled in 2022, and the company enjoys a 92% repeat business rate, it said.
“Should we have our own brands? We’re considering that, also sourcing our own stuff and marketing our own brands,” Nivoix said.