Japan and Malaysia-based Secai Marche, a B2B farm-direct platform that connects farmers and restaurants in Southeast Asia, announced raising $1.5 million ahead of its Series A funding round.
Proceeds from the funding round will be used to expand Secai Marche’s fulfillment services, logistics, inventory, packing, and more, as well as to hire more developers for its e-commerce system and marketing.
Founded in 2018 in Japan and Malaysia, the startup provides freshness, transparency, and product value by establishing new fulfilment services for the food supply chain in Southeast Asia.
In Southeast Asia, the startup said there has been a rapid increase in e-commerce platforms. At the same time, fulfilment services and cold-chain logistics are still in the early stages of development, especially for perishable food products.
Secai Marche provides one-stop fulfillment services from collection on-farm, to sorting, picking, packing, and last-mile delivery, as well as quality management.
The firm launched in Malaysia in July 2019, with over 130 farmers and 300 consumers on board. Secai Marche said it has been growing at 200 per cent monthly rate in the Malaysian market even with the pandemic.
“As the company grows, Secai Marche will continue to expand its fulfilment services, HR, and marketing services to support even more farmers and restaurants,” the startup said.
Commenting on the investment, Nicole Jang, investment manager at Rakuten Ventures, said the foodservice industry in Southeast Asia is enormous but highly fragmented with room for efficiency improvements.
“Secai Marche optimizes the F&B supply chain through aggregating a unique supplier network across SEA, Japan, and Australia, and providing an e-procurement platform driven by data and technology,” Jang added.
She added: “We look forward to Secai Marche expanding into new markets and playing a key role in providing fresh produce to business consumers across the country while innovating on the supply chain to make it more efficient, reliable, and profitable”.