Choco gets its horn amid mission to remove food waste from supply chain – TechCrunch

Choco, a company focused on building a more sustainable food system for restaurants and suppliers, brought in another big raise — this time $111 million in what it calls a Series B2 round — to boost its valuation to $1. 2 billion.

The new investment, an internal round led by G Squared along with Insight Partners, comes just six months after Berlin-based Choco raised $100 million in a Series B round led by Left Lane Capital to give the company a post-market valuation of $600 million.

If you’ve been tracking us, we’ve covered a number of Choco’s funding rounds over the years, including a $63.7 million Series A raised in two different periods, a $33.5 million round in 2019, and a round of $30.2 million in 2020 – with a valuation of $230 million – to bring total funding to $282.5 million since the company was founded in 2018.

The company is chasing a $6 trillion food service industry that traditionally conducts business through spreadsheets or pen and paper. It developed software that digitizes ordering, supply chain and communication for suppliers and restaurants to give back some of that time.

“We’ve been lucky with our growth and luck in a very large space where we can grow quickly without hindering us much,” Choco CEO Daniel Khachab told TechCrunch. “When our investors offered additional money, we said, ‘Let’s go for it’ to accelerate, invest in our product, customer service and team training.”

Choco also collects real-time data so that suppliers can better match supply and demand, so that less food is wasted before it reaches the consumer. The goal is to “completely digitize the global food wholesale market for zero food waste by 2026.”

The company is not alone in combating food waste. For example, the grocery app Flashfood raised $12.3 million to tackle retail food waste, and Full Harvest raised $23 million to find endpoints for imperfect products.

In the meantime, Choco is active in the US, Germany, France, Spain, Austria and Belgium and saw a 350% growth in users last year. And as of February, the total value of goods traded through Choco was over $1.2 billion, and it partners with about 15,000 restaurant customers and 16,000 on the supply side.

Khachab plans to use the new funding for product and technology development, support the company’s growth in the US and Europe, and expand into other markets. He also plans to increase the company’s workforce from the current 400 to between 600 and 700 by the end of the year.

Some of the new features in beta include financial services, allowing Choco to take the risk for suppliers by acting as the collection agency for them, ensuring they get paid within 24 hours, while giving restaurants more time to pay.

“We want to cover the entire US and European food system,” Khachab added. “The main focus for the next 36 months is on building value-based software for vendors, who are dealing with margin and pricing pressures, and it’s difficult for them to raise money. At the moment they are becoming our most important customer.”

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