Company Adds Direct-To-Consumer Sales Resources For Food Suppliers, Providing Relief Amid Industry Turbulence
BERLIN AND NEW YORK / ACCESSWIRE / April 16, 2020 / Choco, a global company focused on building a more sustainable food industry by simplifying how restaurants order from suppliers, announced today that it has raised $30.2 million in new funding led by Coatue Management, a leading global investment manager focused on public and private technology companies. The new capital will help Choco continue its ongoing mission of eliminating food waste and helping solve global hunger by improving sustainability and efficiency in the global food supply chain, at a time when restaurants and food suppliers need resources to help navigate their new future amid global upheaval and uncertainty.
The company has raised a total of $71.5 million since it was founded in 2018. Previous investors in the company that participated in this new funding include Bessemer Venture Partners, Atlantic Labs, Target Global and Greyhound. Coatue Chairman Dan Rose, a 20-year industry veteran and former senior leader at Facebook, will join Choco's board of directors as part of the new investment, along with Coatue Partner Bennett Siegel.
With the new capital, Choco is launching a direct-to-consumer program to link increased consumer demand for groceries delivered safely and quickly to homes, with the excess supply of restaurant-quality, locally-sourced produce from wholesale food suppliers. Choco will uniquely provide next-day delivery to buyers, with increased sustainability measures as products are sold fresh, locally and with less packaging. Choco is rolling out this program in all 17 of its global markets, with dedicated direct-to-consumer e-commerce websites set up for suppliers and consumers in each market. Additionally, as part of this initiative Choco will donate 100% of profits, until restaurants reopen, to regional funds to help local restaurants stay afloat.
"The food and restaurant industry produces the most essential good in the world, but still relies heavily on pen and paper. Our vision to digitalize this industry for a more sustainable future requires immense coordination and funding," said Daniel Khachab, Founder and CEO of Choco. "We are at a time of global crisis where our industry needs the help - and the digital tools - to keep businesses running. The time is ripe for innovation and Choco is well positioned to help our industry be a force for positive change in the world, which is why we are doing the most to support our restaurant and supplier partners. The restaurant industry is one of the oldest industries in the world, so we are here to ensure it will weather the crisis and thrive."
Choco will double down on outreach to food suppliers and restaurants, offering their free, simple-to-use digital tools in a time of industry turbulence. Choco will ramp up supply-side development, focusing on small-scale and local/regional food suppliers, to offer its free digital tools for managing ordering, invoicing, payment and supply management. For restaurants, Choco will help set up streamlined mobile ordering and delivery operations, to especially help smaller, family-owned and local restaurants. Funds also will be used to fuel Choco's growth plans to build the future of sustainable global food systems, through new market expansion, hiring and improving user experience.
The global food system is one of the least digital industries on the planet. With 30-40% of the world's food going to waste, much happening in the supply chain before it even reaches consumers, this system needs a profound change. Choco's mission is to bring that change and accelerate the world's transition toward sustainable food systems, through giving restaurants and suppliers the digital tools needed to streamline and modernize their supply chain.
Choco combines mobile e-commerce tools with a very simple chat app platform to enable restaurant managers and food suppliers to digitally migrate their supply chain operations. This reduces friction caused by time and human error, and improves upon the overall sustainability of the food supply chain. Choco is operational in 17 markets worldwide, in eight countries that include Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Brazil and the United States. Choco plans to expand into new markets and scale its team to 200 employees by the end of the year.
"I believe every chef is an artist - the kitchen is their studio and the restaurant is their gallery. Choco's app removes friction for chefs so they can spend more time on their craft and operate their business more efficiently," said Rose. "Especially now in the midst of an existential crisis for restaurants around the world, we need Choco more than ever to rethink the global food supply chain and provide new business models for food suppliers and restaurants alike."
"Choco is bringing the global food supply chain online, empowering restaurants and suppliers with the tools to reduce food waste and operate more profitably. We're excited to partner with Choco as the company continues to build technology supporting small business restaurant owners and food suppliers in this challenging environment," said Siegel.
This funding round comes on the heels of a $33.5 million Series A round closed in October 2019, led by Bessemer Venture Partners. In that time, Choco more than doubled its user base and expanded into new markets in the U.S. and Europe.
For more information about Choco, please visit www.choco.com.
Choco was founded in 2018 by serial tech entrepreneurs Daniel Khachab, Julian Hammer and Rogerio da Silva Yokomizo, who all shared a vision to reduce food waste on a global scale by digitalizing the food industry towards a more sustainable future. The company has raised a total of $71.5 million to date from investors including Bessemer Venture Partners, Atlantic Labs, Target Global, Contemporary Food Labs and Greyhound. Since its founding, Choco has rapidly grown its operation to serve 17 markets in Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Brazil and the United States. By helping streamline the global food supply chain, the company has created a more efficient and sustainable process that empowers restaurants, suppliers and producers. To learn more, visit choco.com.
Coatue, founded by Philippe Laffont and Thomas Laffont in 1999, is one of the largest dedicated technology funds in the world with offices in New York, Menlo Park, San Francisco and Hong Kong. Coatue currently manages approximately $17 billion in assets on behalf of individuals, endowments, foundations, and other institutional investors.
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