TreeDots, a Singapore-based integrated food supply chain ecosystem, announced Thursday it has successfully raised $11 million Series A funding co-led by venture capital firms Amasia and East Ventures (Growth fund).

Other investors included ACTIVE Fund, Seeds Capital, author Nir Eyal, and actress Fiona Xie.

TreeDots said in a statement that it is looking to enhance its growing food logistics optimization platform and expand regionally with the fresh funding.

The company, which started its operations in Singapore, expanded into Malaysia last year, and expects further regional expansion ahead.

The company has also recently expanded to logistics optimization services to help enterprise customers build more efficient supply chains.

“We realised that a grocery chain might not buy a chicken that’s too big or has a broken bone because it looks funny on their shelves. But food and beverage (F&B) outlets don’t care because they will cut it, plate it and make it look nice before serving. So if they can purchase essentially the same product at prices up to 90 per cent cheaper than alternatives, they are very happy. This original insight drove us to start an oversupplied foods marketplace to match supply and demand for these products,” said Tylor Jong, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of TreeDots.

TreeDots was founded by Tylor Jong, Lau Jia Cai, and Nicholas Lim in 2018. Tackling inefficiencies in the food supply chain, it began as a surplus food marketplace for businesses and now also serves consumers through a social commerce platform.

“Food loss is already a trillion dollar problem, but what got us really excited was the fact that suppliers started to use the system for all of their revenue, not just food loss products. If one of their trucks could make one delivery to a zone, TreeDots could make five deliveries on that same trip working across suppliers. The increased network density allows for decreased logistics costs and lower emissions,” said Roderick Purwana, Managing Partner at East Ventures.

According to the statement, TreeDots’ gross merchandise value (GMV) has grown over 4 times year-over-year.

“Many businesses serving the F&B industry have struggled during the pandemic, but we’ve been very impressed with the team’s ability to drive exponential growth in the midst of difficult circumstances,” said John Kim, Managing Partner at Amasia.

TreeDots who claimed itself as Asia’s first vertically integrated food supply chain ecosystem, is marketplace for surplus and imperfect food supplies tackles the colossal issue of food loss, particularly perfectly edible food that is discarded. The company’s technology helps redistribute unsold inventories from suppliers to businesses like restaurants and cafes, allowing them to source for affordable food supplies. It also furnishes suppliers with logistics service. The vertically integrated ecosystem serves to allow upstream suppliers to focus their efforts on what they are specialized in–food processing and manufacturing.

While buyers on the TreeDots platform consisted of mainly F&B franchises to start, the company found that a growing segment of consumers also understand the value proposition. To respond to this demand, the company additionally launched a social commerce platform that allows consumers to purchase these same products at heavily discounted prices.

TreeDots delivers a number of orders to one address, and neighbours pick up their goods from this household in a group buying model. This allows for savings on logistics costs for buyers, and also decreases emissions compared with a traditional e-commerce model that requires a trip for each order delivered.

On the sell side of the platform, suppliers often would pay money to send their surplus goods to the landfill before working with TreeDots. But now they can earn incremental revenue for these goods and feel good about helping the planet. TreeDots also helps to digitise suppliers’ operations using an app, and the company recently launched TreeLogs, a cold-chain logistics offering that drives efficiency for suppliers’ existing operations.

With the mission to be a catalyst for a modern-day food supply chain in the region, TreeDots hopes to save 2 million tons of food that would have been wasted. The company is also aiming to reduce carbon emissions by 18 million tonnes by 2025.

According to TreeDots, one third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, while in Asia, the majority of the problem is caused by inefficient supply chains. Aesthetically imperfect food often finds its way to the landfill, even though it’s just as fresh and nutritious as the normal goods found on grocery store shelves. These oversupplied foods are often incinerated or left to rot, emitting methane, a greenhouse gas that is up to 86 times more harmful for global warming than carbon dioxide.

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