Malaysia-based Food Market Hub (FMH), a food and beverages procurement and inventory management startup, announced on Wednesday that it has raised $4 million from Go-Ventures and SIG in a Series A funding round.
FMH plans to use the proceeds to strengthen its market position in Malaysia and expand into Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, it said in a statement.
The firm was set up in 2017, by Anthony See and Shayna Teh who previously managed several cafes.
“A single restaurant may need to process some 200 purchase orders every month. Previously, most of this was done manually, making it tedious as well as prone to human error. And when a restaurant grows or becomes a franchise using a central kitchen, complexity increases exponentially. We set up Food Market Hub to address this problem,” said co-founder See.
The firm’s cloud-based platform helps F&B operators manage and track procurement and inventory. This solution automates the purchasing and inventory-tracking process, by connecting F&B outlets with their central kitchens and suppliers. Orders can be placed via the system, or by email or WhatsApp.
Big Data and AI is used to improve restaurant procurement and reduce food costs. AI helps to analyse past data to recommend usage of raw ingredients, resulting in better inventory control, FMH said.
The startup received $450,000 in seed funding from 500 Startups in May last year, data from business information platform Techcrunch showed. FMH announced on December 31, 2017 that it has won a 300,000 ringgit ($73,270) grant under the CIP300 programme offered by Cradle Fund, and supported by Malaysia’s ministry of finance.
FMH currently supports over 2,000 F&B outlets in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and places close to $200 million in purchase orders through its system annually. Its existing customers include F&B outlets such as Taiwanese restaurant Din Tai Fung, fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Chinese restaurant Putien, among others.
“Food Market Hub has deep industry expertise and has demonstrated that the F&B industry can benefit greatly from AI, analytical technology, and automation. Go-Ventures will facilitate partnerships, to help Food Market Hub to rapidly expand in Indonesia as well as regionally,” said Go-Ventures investment professional Nigel Quah.
Go-Ventures is an early-stage focussed VC. The fund is backed by notable private equity firms, venture capital firms, global technology businesses, regional conglomerates, and technopreneurs. The fund’s cornerstone investor is Gojek, Indonesia’s ride-hailing decacorn.
US-based investment firm SIG is a global quantitative trading and investment firm founded in 1987. It has operations across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. SIG began investing in Asia venture capital in 2005 with an initial focus on China before expanding to South East Asia, Japan, and India. It invests across the continuum of the venture capital life cycle, from early- to late-stage and in a variety of industry sectors.