Secai Marche, a farm-to-table fulfillment platform serving farmers in Japan and Southeast Asia, announced today it has raised 210 million Japanese yen (about $1.6 million USD) in Series A funding. The round included participation from venture capital firm The Agribusiness Investment and Consultation Co., Spiral Ventures Asia Fund I and Beyond Next Ventures.
This brings the startup’s total raised so far to $4.5 million. TechCrunch last covered Secai Marche when it raised seed funding from Rakuten and Beyond Next in 2021.
Since its seed funding, Secai Marche has built out its warehouse management and fulfillment system for perishables and established a cold supply chain from farm to end-users that covers over 300 farmers. Founder Ami Sugiyama told TechCrunch that by optimizing its supply chain and minimizing lead time for deliveries, Secai Marche is able to maintain a wastage rate of less than 1%.
Sugiyama said that the food service distribution industry in Southeast Asia is very large but highly-fragmented and inefficient. Secai Marche helps smooth bumps along the F&B supply chain with its in-house software, like a warehouse management system and demand forecast for perishable items. Over 4,000 items are available on the platform from farmers in Southeast Asia and Japan, including vegetables, fruit, eggs and seafood. They sell to more than 500 retailers and HORECA (hotels, restaurants and catering) customers.
Other farm-to-table startups in Southeast Asia that have raised funding over the last few years include Eden Farm, Kamereo and FreshKet.
Secai Marche strives to differentiate from other farm products wholesale platforms by providing an end-to-end fulfillment solution open to all farmers, which means it carries a wider variety of products, and providing more transparency
The funding will be used to develop Secai Marche’s demand forecast system and optimize truck routing as it expands its service areas.