Sekai Marche, a farm-to-table company serving farmers in Japan and Southeast Asia, announced today that it has raised 210 million Japanese yen (about $1.6 million) in Series A funding. The round includes participation from venture capital firm The Agribusiness Investment and Consultation Co., Spiral Ventures Asia Fund I and Beyond Next Ventures.
That brings the startup’s total raised to date to $4.5 million. TechCrunch last covered Sekai Marche in 2021 when it raised seed funding from Rakuten and Beyond Next.
Sekai Marche has built the system from seed funding to warehouse management and perishables fulfillment and has established a cold supply chain from farm to end user covering more than 300 farmers. Founder Ami Sugiyama told TechCrunch that by streamlining its supply chain and reducing delivery times, Sekai Marche has been able to keep its waste rate below 1 percent.
Sugiyama says the food service distribution industry in Southeast Asia is huge but very fragmented and inefficient. Secai Marche helps with smooth bumps along the F&B supply chain, such as a warehouse management system and perishable goods demand forecasting. More than 4,000 items from Southeast Asian and Japanese farmers will be on display, including vegetables, fruits, eggs and seafood. Sold to over 500 retailers and HORECA (hotels, restaurants and catering) customers.
Other farm-to-table startups in Southeast Asia that have raised funding in the past few years include Eden Farms, Camereo and Freshket.
Secai Marche strives to differentiate itself from other agricultural product wholesale platforms by offering an end-to-end fulfillment solution open to all farmers.
The funds will be used to develop Sekai Marche’s demand forecasting system and facilitate truck transfers as it expands service areas.