Canadian Food-Tech Startup FRESHSPOKE Raises A $0.55M Seed Round
FreshSpoke, a wholesale local food software platform announced that it has raised a $550,000 seed round investment from angel investors and a lead venture capital firm. This investment will enable FreshSpoke to expand its team to expand its distribution capacity to respond to increased customer demand, and continue to evolve its innovative shared commercial delivery system. The company, which surpassed its initial funding goal, is now focused on rapid sales growth in preparation for their next round of investments expected in the Spring of 2020.
Participating in the round are: members of the Georgian Angel Network (lead) and CBA Catalysts of Brampton; and SOSV. This is the second investment SOSV has made in FreshSpoke since FreshSpoke attended its Food-X Accelerator in 2018. FreshSpoke is also a participant in CBA’s istarthub Ontario acceleration program. Other notable investors include, Dapeng Zhu, Portfolio Manager at Millennium Partners of New York and former VP at Deutsche Bank, and Oliver Zecha, Director of OZ Investments Inc.
“Freshspoke’s continues to show itself as a leader in wholesale local food distribution,” said Shawn Broderick, General Partner at SOSV. We’re excited to provide this fresh capital to support its sales growth and the ongoing evolution of this next-generation food-tech platform.”
In addition to SOSV, investors from previous rounds include Craig Busch, President and CEO of Busch Group of Companies, Eric Wetlaufer, Board Member at TMX Group, Tien Pham, President of Valleytek Inc. and Chris Adams, Founder and Managing Director at Adams Hamilton.
FreshSpoke’s B2B sales & logistics platform makes local food more accessible by providing wholesale buyers with the ability to source directly from local food suppliers and delivering to the door using the excess capacity that already exists in commercial delivery. “Instead of putting more trucks on the road, we’re tapping into the what already exists and goes largely unused”, explains Marcia Woods, CEO and co-founder of FreshSpoke. “This reduces food miles, drives down costs and gives commercial drivers the ability to earn extra income delivering local food.”
FreshSpoke is tackling the distribution challenge that has kept most farmers and micro-producers out of the wholesale supply chain for decades. “Over half of households in North America prefer local food and are willing to spend up to 25% more to get it”, states Woods, “and the restaurants and retailers that are keeping pace with this growing trend want an easy and cost-effective solution like FreshSpoke.”
With 25% in monthly sales growth, Woods and her co-founder Henry Quach have clearly struck a chord. The platform now serves over 200 suppliers and 500 wholesale buyers that include the likes of Sobeys, Whole Foods, Organic Garage as well as independent retailers and foodservice businesses in Ontario and Ohio. FreshSpoke plans to scale to other select regions in Canada and the United States, starting in early 2020.
FreshSpoke – a mission-driven software company, determined to make wholesale local food more accessible. This little upstart from Barrie, Ontario is shaking up the wholesale supply chain and solving a decades-old distribution problem with a shared delivery system that takes advantage of the excess capacity in the transportation system. It is FreshSpoke’s bold approach to wholesale local food distribution that earned them the 2017 Ontario Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence and one of only 8 spots in the Spring 2018 Food-X Cohort.
SOSV – The Accelerator VC – is a venture capital firm with $625 AUM operating global accelerator programs: HAX (Shenzhen/San Francisco) for hardware, IndieBio (San Francisco) and RebelBio (London) for life sciences, Chinaccelerator (Shanghai) and MOX (Taipei) for cross-border internet, Food-X (NYC) for the business of food, and dLab (NYC) for blockchain technology. SOSV invests in over 150 companies per year and over its two-decade history has a net IRR of over 30%, putting it in the top 10% of VC funds in the world.
CBA is building the world’s largest startup ecosystem and works with all stakeholders such as Corporates, VCs, Angel Groups, Mentors & Experts, Regional Governments and Startups through various programs. CBA’s istarthub Ontario acceleration program is meant to provide scaling support for high potential startups headquartered in Ontario, Canada. The Catalysts program aspires to drive regional economic development through innovation.