Alima, a Mexico-based provide chain startup, raised $1.5 million in new funding to proceed growing data-driven instruments for companies to supply the produce they want and have it delivered on to them.
The procurement course of at this time in Latin America is sophisticated and costly, co-founder and CEO Jorge Vizcayno instructed TechCrunch. He defined that eating places, lodges and catering corporations sometimes must go to crowded markets, negotiate with a number of distributors, confirm the standard of the merchandise and organize for transportation — usually having to drive hours to select it up themselves.
On the opposite facet, farmers and distributors face uncertainty concerning the high quality of their merchandise as soon as they depart their services, having sufficient amount to satisfy demand and if they’re getting a good worth.
The marketplace for recent produce in Mexico is anticipated to develop by $4 billion over the subsequent 4 years, so Vizcayno and co-founder Blanca Espinosa began Alima in June 2021 to assist resolve these issues in anticipation of that progress.
Vizcayno’s background is in mechatronics engineering, machine studying and information science, and he co-founded Tuibo, a sensible wearable machine for cyclists, and was former chief know-how officer of Byprice, a worth comparability platform in Mexico, earlier than forming Alima. Espinosa, who’s Alima’s chief advertising officer, beforehand held progress and advertising roles with Coca-Cola FEMSA, Amazon and Uber.
Alima’s platform digitizes and optimizes procurement, transport and traceability utilizing synthetic intelligence and analytics integration in order that much less meals is spoiled. Now as a substitute of going to the market every morning, companies can order objects as late as 10 p.m. and have it delivered to their retailers by 7 a.m.
The corporate presently provides 800 product SKUs, however Espinosa says Alima is keen to do the homework for patrons in order that they don’t must go to multiple place to seek out objects.
“Our philosophy is that if we don’t have it, we are going to discover it,” she mentioned. “If a fine-dining restaurant wants one thing specialised, we search for an excellent provider. It takes lower than three days in some circumstances to seek out what they need, after which we have now it. That agility in our catalog and SKUs is one thing we haven’t seen earlier than.”
Options additionally embrace tax invoices, funds, checkout and spend monitoring. For farmers and distributors, this methodology reduces the variety of “hyperlinks” on the availability chain and gives higher worth transparency.
Vizcayno calls Frubana, a Colombia-based firm connecting eating places to suppliers, Alima’s closest competitor. Nevertheless, as a substitute of being a “one-stop store” as Frubana describes itself, Alima is concentrated simply within the provide chain area of interest.
“We’re aiming for full vertical integration,” he mentioned. “That is solely attainable by specializing in one class and scaling the worth proposition alongside a number of distribution channels.”
Now armed with $1.5 million in new funding, the corporate will have the ability to scale its operations. The funding was led by Soma Capital, Y Combinator (the corporate was within the Winter 22 batch), The Dorm Room Fund, Seed9, Pareto and a gaggle of angel traders.
Alima grew income 10x since January and continues to develop every month in double digits. It presently works with 600 clients, and Vizcayno expects to just about triple the variety of clients by the start of the 12 months.
The corporate began final 12 months with eating places and lodges and is now increasing to colleges, hospitals and CPG factories; plans embrace retailers and export trades, in addition to including meals objects that companies like meat market chains are searching for, Vizcayno added.