Vietnam-based food-tech startup KAMEREO has raised $4.6 million in a series of funding co-led by conglomerate CPF Group, Quest Ventures, and Genesia Ventures.
The Ho Chi Minh City based company is the country’s first B2B food platform to use technology to optimize sourcing and purchasing in the burgeoning F&B industry.
The platform quickly connects buyers to farmers, allowing each to speed up the lengthy process of delivering fruit and veg supplies to the kitchen.
The company has grown by 15% every month in the last 12 months despite mobility restrictions and temporary closure of some business.
KAMEREO attributes its rapid success to the surging local F&B industry which has shown a steady compound annual growth rate of 10+%, as well as segment players’ growing discernment on sustainably and ethically-sourced goods, and the country’s overall positive management of the coronavirus pandemic.
Long-term Japanese expatriate Taku Tanaka launched KAMEREO in 2018 with a clear vision – to redefine the food business by letting chefs and restaurateurs focus on serving the best culinary experiences to customers, while leaving the nitty-gritty of supplier negotiations, order processing and management to the KAMEREO team.
Currently, KAMEREO has about a hundred employees serving more than 400 active customers who buy regularly from the platform.
Before launching KAMEREO, Taku had held the role of COO at renowned restaurant chain Pizza 4Ps, where he helped the brand grow from just one location in Ho Chi Minh City to 10 stores nationwide in just three years.
But it was here that he began to find problems to overcome with the food supply chain, particularly with efficiency. It was this experience that led to his founding of KAMEREO.
On the kind of talents that best fit KAMEREO, Taku said, “I’m not just looking for experience. I’m more into the mindset of the people we hire; people who have a clear understanding of the problems and are willing to solve them, people who think outside the box and are not afraid to make mistakes, people who are honest and transparent, people who see change as an opportunity.”
As KAMEREO is actively apportioning part of its new funding towards hiring new team members, the company has released an introductory deck to help people learn more should they wish to join the startup’s journey.
As well as increasing the company’s manpower to better accommodate the growing number of users, Taku is aiming to use the new funding to bring KAMEREO to Hanoi next year, build a new Warehouse Management System to optimize daily operations, and continuously upgrade the user experience and service quality of its website and mobile app (available on App Store and Google Play), as well as expanding tech coverage to allow the in-house engineering team to make fast, data-driven decisions.
In the long term, KAMEREO aims to become a one-stop procurement platform for F&B businesses.
On the new partnership with KAMEREO, CP Vietnam Corporation CEO Montri Suwanposri said, “We are pleased to join forces with Kamereo – combining our state of the art production and highest food standards with their unparalleled B2B F&B expertise. Together, we are helping and elevating F&B entrepreneurs with hygienic, tasty, and innovative food as they strive to do better for their customers.
“We are very impressed by Kamereo’s execution, in-depth supply chain, and market knowledge in the farm to fork space in Vietnam,” said Goh Yiping, partner of Quest Ventures. “Kamereo sits in one of the largest food production hubs of Southeast Asia, and there is much room to grow in solving many of the inefficiencies of the supply chain today, improving farmers’ livelihood outcomes and procuring the best products for businesses and homes.”
“We’re proud to be the earliest investor in Vietnam’s leading B2B food platform and have seen how KAMEREO grew and made a positive impact on the local F&B industry especially in the past year during the pandemic,” said Takahiro Suzuki, general partner of Genesia Ventures. “We will continue to support Taku, Hiroshi and the KAMEREO team in achieving their vision ‘Redefine the Food Business’.”
KAMEREO is Vietnam’s first ever technology-enabled supplier for restaurants, hotels, cafes, retail shops and offices. It’s a one-stop platform where farmers, producers, importers and buyers connect to trade a range of fruit and vegetable products at the best prices. KAMEREO also has its own warehouse, delivery team and customer support team that give the “WOW ” experience to all its platform users. Some of its most notable clients include Pizza 4Ps, El Gaucho, Sol Kitchen & Bar, and L’usine.
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