An e-commerce services company that aims to gain market share in the foodservice distribution industry has just received a big boost from new investors to help them get there.
Pomegranate Technologies Inc., which operates UsePepper.com, received $ 16 million in new working capital from Index Ventures who led the round with participation from Greylock, Imaginary Ventures, BoxGroup, Moving Capital and an individual investor. .
The New York-based company, formed as a start-up in 2020, will use the new funding to add new features and functions to its e-commerce platform, including more payment and personalization options, said CEO Bowie Cheung. “This funding allows us to accelerate product development in key areas such as digital payments and a product recommendation engine to increase sales,” he said.
Food distributors use UsePepper.com as an e-commerce platform to build an online store, mobile app, and extensive online inventory of over 100,000 products. Foodservice distributors use UsePepper.com to manage orders from customers such as restaurants, grocery stores, and more.
Today, most of the order fulfillment between foodservice distributors and their customers remains a manual process, explains UsePepper.com.
When restaurants and grocery stores order food from their distributors, 80 percent of the time, they leave that order on voicemail, with no paper trail, accessible order history, or the ability to verify orders, explains UsePepper.com. 80% of payments are also made to distributors by mailed paper checks. “Many ATMs have uncashed check drawers to prove it,” explains UsePepper.com.
UsePepper.com says its new injection of capital “will improve the ordering experience for distributors serving more than 25,000 restaurants and grocery stores in the United States and Canada.”
“Pepper is pursuing what we believe will be the next big opportunity in the restaurant industry: enabling restaurants to purchase $ 200 billion in annual food inventory digitally rather than by phone and email,” said Damir Becirovic, Director of Index Ventures.
The new funding brings the total funding raised to $ 20 million, according to UsePepper.com.
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