tbg Technologie-Beteiligungsgesellschaft, the venture subsidiary of Germany’s state-run Deutsche Ausgliechsbank, has invested s1.5 million in efoodmanager.com, the food industry business-to-business marketplace. Founded in January of this year, Dusseldorf-based efoodmanager raised a s4.1 million initial funding round from Atlas Venture, which brought together three of the company’s founding entrepreneurs with the founders of Fruchtnetz, an e-marketplace for the fresh fruit sector. efoodmanager was formed to link European suppliers of all kinds of produce with food wholesalers and retailers. It launched online marketplaces for fruit and vegetables and fish and seafoods this July. Marketplaces for meat, meat-based convenience products, poultry, sausages and dairy products will be introduced later this year.
According to Jan Stenger, one of efoodmanger’s founders, food procurement costs for grocery and catering groups can be reduced by between 10 per cent and 30 per cent by using a single online marketplace rather than a diverse group of conventional suppliers.
efoodmanager’s site provides three main forums: the Open Marketplace enables buyers and sellers to trade between themselves, either openly or anonymously; Individual Company Channels provide a means for buyers to trade with pre-selected parties; and efoodmanager offers logistics, packaging, insurance, financial services information and business and produce directories through the Services area. Membership of efoodmanager is initially free: the company’s revenues will be generated from transaction fees on products and services sourced through the site and through fees for building and hosting the Individual Company Channels. Currently, efoodmanager has 500 clients using individual channels alongside 900 customers that have registered to trade in the Open Marketplace.
Discussing the investment in efoodmanager, Esko Stahl of tbg observes that the company stands out from other e-commerce platforms tbg has looked at by virtue of its existing customer contacts, the size of the market and the company’s innovative service concept”.