MALAYSIA-BASED Food Market Hub has raised US$4 million in Series A funding from Go-Ventures and SIG, it announced on Wednesday.
Go-Ventures is a venture capital fund that has Gojek as its cornerstone investor, while SIG is a global quantitative trading and investment firm.
The food and beverage (F&B) procurement and inventory management platform plans to use the funding to strengthen its position in Malaysia and rapidly expand into Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Food Market Hub's cloud-based solution automates the purchasing and inventory-tracking process by connecting F&B outlets with their central kitchens and suppliers.
Orders can be placed via the system or by using email or WhatsApp according to the customer's preference, allowing restaurants to operate seamlessly and immediately, the startup said.
The solution also consists of artificial intelligence technology which helps F&B businesses forecast their purchasing needs by analysing past data to recommend usage of raw ingredients - resulting in better food inventory control.
Started in 2017 by co-founders Anthony See and Shayna Teh, Food Market Hub supports over 2,000 F&B outlets operating in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan. These F&B outlets have placed close to US$200 million in purchase orders through its system on an annual basis, Food Market Hub said.
Mr See said a single restaurant may need to process some 200 purchase orders every month. Previously, most of these orders were processed manually, a tedious process which is also prone to human error.
"When a restaurant grows or becomes a franchise using a central kitchen, complexity increases exponentially," he said.
Existing customers include F&B outlets such as Din Tai Fung, KFC, Putien, Paul Lafayet, Arabica and The Drunken Pot.
"Despite the challenges facing the F&B sector, customers have continued to pay for the system and input over 90 per cent of their orders into the solution," Food Market Hub said in a press statement.
Nigel Quah, Go-Ventures investment professional said: "Go-Ventures will facilitate partnerships, to help Food Market Hub to rapidly expand in Indonesia as well as regionally."