Freshket, a Bangkok-based agritech startup for fresh food suppliers and restaurants, has raised $3 million in a Series A funding round led by Singapore-based venture capital firm Openspace Ventures, the startup announced on Thursday.
Other participants in the round were Thai private equity firm ECG-Research, Thai public-private joint venture Innospace, and Pamitra Wineka and Ivan Sustiawan, the co-founders of the Indonesian agritech startup Tanihub. Existing investors Denis Asia Pacific — a French-Singaporean food conglomerate — and Thai family office Seedersclub also participated in the fundraising.
Founded in 2017 by Ponglada Paniangwet and Tuangploi Chiwalaksanangkoon, Freshket is an e-commerce marketplace that helps farmers and food processors supply fresh produce to businesses (B2B) and consumers (B2C) in Thailand. The country’s annual B2B foodservice market is worth over $7.7 billion in purchases from more than 200,000 restaurants, the company said.
The proceeds from the fundraising will allow Freshket to upgrade technologies, accelerate efficiencies for supply chain management, and improve its customer service platform. “Our planned technology investments will enable us to scale rapidly and move further upstream in the supply chain. As a result, we will be able to offer the best quality produce at the best prices to our customers,” said Freshket CEO Paniangwet.
In 2017, Freshket closed an undisclosed seed funding round from 500 TukTuks, which is a $15 million micro-fund launched by global VC firm 500 Startups for Thailand’s promising startups.
Freshket is Openspace Ventures’ second investment in Thailand after it led a $10 million investment in fintech firm Finnomena in January this year.
The VC firm is also a backer of Tanihub and Singapore grocery platform Redmart, from which the firm exited in 2016 after the platform was acquired by Alibaba-backed Lazada.
Openspace had raised over $90 million for the first close of its $200 million third Southeast Asia fund, DealStreetAsia reported last month, citing several informed sources. The firm’s funds have previously attracted investments from pension funds, university endowments, insurance companies, and family offices in the US, Australia, Europe, Japan, China, Korea, and Singapore.
Aside from Freshket, the players in the agritech sector in Thailand include EDEN agritech (sustainable methods for farming), and KoMoMi (an IoT-powered irrigation monitoring solutions).