Rakuten joins Secai Marche’s US$1.5M pre-Series A as it expands B2B farm-to-table platform

Secai Marche co-founder and CEO Ami Sugiyama

Secai Marche, an online marketplace that connects farmers with restaurants in Japan and Malaysia, has bagged JPY150 million (~US$1.5 million) in a pre-Series A funding round from Japanese VC firms Rakuten Ventures and Beyond Next Ventures.

The company will use the fresh capital to expand fulfilment services (including its own fulfilment services, logistics, inventory, packing and picking, co-founder and CEO Ami Sugiyama told e27.

A portion of the money will also go into hiring and sales and marketing.

Also Read: Eat Just’s unit GOOD Meat secures US$170M to bring meat made from animal cells to Singapore

Secai Marche — which aims to be the Amazon for fresh farm produce in ASEAN — earlier raised US$1 million from Beyond Next, Monex Ventures and some unnamed angels in October last year for expansion into Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. However, the rapid spread of COVID-19 forced it to put off the plans.

“We want to expand rapidly to counties in Southeast Asia. But we need to see how the COVID-19 situation improves before going ahead with the plans,” she said.

Founded in 2018 by Sugiyama and Shusaku Hayakawa, Secai Marche is an online B2B farm-to-table platform that enables F&B businesses to purchase “high-quality products with competitive prices” directly from farmers.

Secai Marche co-founder Shusaku Hayakawa

The firm sources ingredients, of around 3,000 items, directly from farmers in Southeast Asia and Japan. Among the products sourced, 30 per cent are from Japan, 50 per cent from Malaysia and the rest from other parts of ASEAN.

Secai Marche does everything itself — from purchasing, trading, picking and packing, to arranging the logistics.

Also Read: Secai Marche lands US$1M to become the Amazon for fresh farm produce in ASEAN

The foodservice distribution industry in Southeast Asia is huge but highly fragmented and inefficient.

“As one of the fastest-growing online grocery platforms in Southeast Asia, more than 300 retailers and HORECA customers are satisfied with our product quality, variety and impeccable services including the whole fulfilment services — from collection of items at farm, sorting, packing, quality management and last-mile delivery according to individual orders,” she explained.

Sugiyama also said that Secai Marche will reach out to investors for Series A round of funding year later.

Image Credit: Secai Marche

The post Rakuten joins Secai Marche’s US$1.5M pre-Series A as it expands B2B farm-to-table platform appeared first on e27.

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Secai Marche co-founder and CEO Ami Sugiyama

Secai Marche, an online marketplace that connects farmers with restaurants in Japan and Malaysia, has bagged JPY150 million (~US$1.5 million) in a pre-Series A funding round from Japanese VC firms Rakuten Ventures and Beyond Next Ventures.

The company will use the fresh capital to expand fulfilment services (including its own fulfilment services, logistics, inventory, packing and picking, co-founder and CEO Ami Sugiyama told e27.

A portion of the money will also go into hiring and sales and marketing.

Also Read: Eat Just’s unit GOOD Meat secures US$170M to bring meat made from animal cells to Singapore

Secai Marche — which aims to be the Amazon for fresh farm produce in ASEAN — earlier raised US$1 million from Beyond Next, Monex Ventures and some unnamed angels in October last year for expansion into Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. However, the rapid spread of COVID-19 forced it to put off the plans.

“We want to expand rapidly to counties in Southeast Asia. But we need to see how the COVID-19 situation improves before going ahead with the plans,” she said.

Founded in 2018 by Sugiyama and Shusaku Hayakawa, Secai Marche is an online B2B farm-to-table platform that enables F&B businesses to purchase “high-quality products with competitive prices” directly from farmers.

Secai Marche co-founder Shusaku Hayakawa

The firm sources ingredients, of around 3,000 items, directly from farmers in Southeast Asia and Japan. Among the products sourced, 30 per cent are from Japan, 50 per cent from Malaysia and the rest from other parts of ASEAN.

Secai Marche does everything itself — from purchasing, trading, picking and packing, to arranging the logistics.

Also Read: Secai Marche lands US$1M to become the Amazon for fresh farm produce in ASEAN

The foodservice distribution industry in Southeast Asia is huge but highly fragmented and inefficient.

“As one of the fastest-growing online grocery platforms in Southeast Asia, more than 300 retailers and HORECA customers are satisfied with our product quality, variety and impeccable services including the whole fulfilment services — from collection of items at farm, sorting, packing, quality management and last-mile delivery according to individual orders,” she explained.

Sugiyama also said that Secai Marche will reach out to investors for Series A round of funding year later.

Image Credit: Secai Marche

The post Rakuten joins Secai Marche’s US$1.5M pre-Series A as it expands B2B farm-to-table platform appeared first on e27.

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