Wholesale catering marketplace FoodByUs has raised $12 million in a Series B.
The round was led by South African VC Base Capital, backed by New York-based FJ Labs and Trawalla Group, plus follow-on funding from founder investor Macquarie Capital.
FoodByUs previously raised $10 million in a Series A in November 2021 and then spent 12 months assembling the Series B round.
Founded by Ben Lipschitz, former Menulog MD Tim Chandler and Gary Munitz, the six-year-old marketplace connects restaurants, cafes and caterers with thousands of wholesale food and alcohol suppliers. In late 2021, FoodByUs introduced a new technical feature, “add your own supplier”, which increased the platform’s supplier network tenfold in less than 12 months.
Lipschitz, the company’s CEO, said they had experienced strong growth over the past 12 months as diners returned to restaurants after the lockdown, including a 200% increase in suppliers using the platform, alongside a doubling of the workforce to 85 .
“FoodByUs was built with the premise of improving the often overlooked ‘back of house’ function within hospitality establishments. Purchase time and costs make up a third of a venue’s expenses, but are often where the profit is made – or lost,” he said
“In the past few years alone, we’ve helped independent restaurants and cafes save nearly $16 million in costs and 2,643,750 hours of ordering time.”
Lipschitz said launching a wholesale food marketplace was a new idea in 2016 and it took some time to prove the value to both parties.
:We are now in a strong growth phase and are fully focused on building an incredibly high quality software product without which independent sites simply could not operate,” he said.
“We are already the leading solution in our market, this round will help strengthen FoodByUs as the dominant on-trade sourcing technology in Australia.”
FoodByUs allows independent locations to search and compare hundreds of thousands of products, with transparent and consistent pricing, no credit applications, and the buying power of much larger companies.
Base Capital founder Paul Rutherford said he praised FoodByUs’ leadership team as “exceptional” and a leading factor in what attracted them to the company.
“We were also drawn to the combination of operating software with an open marketplace that offers an innovative approach to how restaurants and food suppliers run their businesses,” he said.
“This is supported by a very strong growth trajectory along with excellent customer engagement and retention.”