Cloud-based supply chain platform Silo has raised a $9 million Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz. Other investors in the round include Initialized Capital and Haystack Ventures. This brings its total funding to $12 million since launching in 2018.
The San Francisco-based startup is hoping to help streamline the food supply chain to mitigate food waste. Although loss happens throughout the supply chain from the farm gate to consumers’ kitchens, Silo finds the production and distribution segment particularly wasteful.
“The market potential for an innovator like Silo to reduce waste and improve margins is enormous, and we’re excited to support its efforts [to become] the system of record for food distribution in the US,” said Anish Acharya, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, in a statement. “Silo is well-positioned to scale beyond the [US] West Coast to help more customers modernize and transition their operations from pen and paper to software.”
The round came together organically at the end of last year, according to Silo co-founder and CEO Ashton Braun. While there are a plethora of food waste startups in the market, he believes that investors understand the enormity of the problem and are far from bored of it.
“We have built a lot of software to help a lot of folks. It digitizes workflows to make sure that all the internal systems and processes that they’re trying to run are connecting and communicating,” Braun told AFN. “From there, we were able to allow them to use data to make better decisions and have more time to manage operations more efficiently.”
Silo’s cloud-based platform is accessible anywhere for growers, distributors, and suppliers of perishable foods. Using machine learning-powered tools, it can automate operations and manage relationships between buyers and sellers. This includes retailers, wholesalers, distributors, foodservice companies, packers, processors, and freight providers. It also helps users discover new partners across the supply chain in real-time.
The startup also wants to do away with manual processes around data entry, sales, logistics, business intelligence, and financial services. Automating traditional supply chain workflows will not only save time and money, but will also help reduce product loss and wastage, Braun said.
To date, Silo is working with “a large number of folks” in Northern California and is expanding its presence to the south of its home stat and to New York. Braun says the company is beginning its commercialization phase.
The new funding will be used to accelerate growth by opening new offices in New York and Los Angeles, while also hiring engineering staff to support the development of financial services and logistical tools.
“The reason we are super excited about Andreessen is because they’re really deep in financial services. Now that we are building this operating system for a lot of stakeholders, we are trying to think about how to layer on financial services,” Braun said, adding that the startup is also looking at partnerships with big freight companies around automation.
Silo is now turning its attention to other food products including meat, dairy, and pantry items. In 2019, it launched what it describes as a successful beta program covering these with a focus on the West Coast.
“We are spending time with these folks trying to understand exactly what they need and what the automation internally can be that we can help with,” Braun said. “[They’re] out there every single day – they’re the experts. And we are the experts [at] building software. So we want to build a platform that is flexible enough that every one of [them] can use to run their business in a different way.”