Fresho, an online platform that lets restaurants order produce directly from suppliers, has raised $14 million, on top of a $30 million already raised.
The round attracted new and existing investors such as Melbourne venture capital firm Capital Zed, Andrew Spykes (an early stage investor in Canva, Aconex and Redbubble), Second Quarter Ventures and Salta Capital, the venture arm of Melbourne’s Tarascio family.
Despite the technology investment starting to slow down, Fresho’s dominance in a market that had been slow to modernise its systems means it has still been able to raise “a decent round” said Huw Birrell, Fresho’s Co-managing Director.
More than $1.2 billion is processed through the Fresho platform each year, replacing the emails, phone calls, texts or faxes that chefs used to place orders with their suppliers.
The platform, which displays live prices, product availability and invoices, also helps restaurants manage their costs at a time inflation is driving up the price of some ingredients.
Despite the shutdown of the hospitality sector during lockdowns, the business continued to grow throughout the pandemic and expand their global footprint.
The software is used by more than 38,000 food service venues across Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, including high-profile restaurants such as Gimlet, Quay, Donovans, Coda and Rockpool.
Tonka and Coda owner and chef Adam D’Slyva said his chefs used the Fresho platform to plan their menus and it had “revolutionised” the restaurant’s operations.
Predicting the next kale
The business launched in Britain in February 2020 and also has a small user base in California with plans to relaunch in the US later this year or early next year.
The business has also started analysing the data from the platform to help growers and associations like the Apple and Pear Association with increase and decline in consumptions.
“Some of the growers were saying if you could tell us what the next kale is, that’s worth millions of dollars. The power of this data is extraordinary in that it has the ability to change growing decisions in the future.” Mr Birrell said.