Targeting the wholesale food industry, online marketplace Foodem has closed a $600,000 seed round and launched a new version of its B2B platform that brings together suppliers and buyers online.
The Baltimore, Maryland-based service uses a marketplace approach to connect wholesale buyers — such as hotels, hospitals, schools and restaurants — with farms, speciality food manufacturers and distributors.
The platform aims to enable sellers of produce to streamline their sales operations and make their distribution efforts more efficient, giving them a leg-up to compete with larger rivals. Purchasers get the opportunity to assess a wide-range of products and food from multiple suppliers in one place.
The new Foodem 2.0 service adds price transparency, more efficient processes and analytical reporting, which the company says enhances the value for its users.
A number of angel investors participated in the round, and they notably include Maryland-based Panacea Capital Advisors, an investment firm with experience in both the food services and technology spaces.
“This is an industry that is ripe for disruption, and Foodem is uniquely positioned to lead as a first-mover in that initiative,” said Sam Rubenstein, President of Panacea Capital Advisors.
Launched in a closed beta in November 2010, Foodem received $75,000 in funding from the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) last year, after being accepted into Baltimore’s Emerging Technology Centers’ (ETC) incubator program.
The company says it is seeing particular progress in the Metropolitan DC area, where a number of “top food distributors” have joined the service.
Headline image via Thinkstock