South Korea’s Tridge has raised $60 million in a Series C round led by local private equity firm Forest Partners.
The Seoul-based startup describes itself as the “global sourcing hub of food and agriculture.” Its online platform connects suppliers and buyers of fresh produce and other agrifood commodities across more than 70 countries, helping them to identify and verify prospective trading partners, make bids and offers, and transact safely and securely.
It also provides market intelligence to its users, who can pay for premium data coverage and receive tailored advice from its vetted community of market experts.
Users of the platform include retailers like Carrefour, Costco, and Walmart; food and beverage companies AB InBev, Dole, and Nestlé; and airline Emirates.
“The food and agriculture sector is one of the most fragmented sectors, and buyers and suppliers struggle to find the right information or partner,” Tridge CEO Hoshik Shin said in the statement.
“Our market intelligence works as a vessel to help them come together; we are the bridge to connect and help them start new trading relationships in the most efficient and reliable method as possible.”
According to Tridge, the platform saw an explosion in demand during 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic led to travel restrictions and disruption to global agrifood supply chains, which “forced buyers and suppliers to seek digital solutions to supply and demand challenges.”
Tridge claims that its platform now receives more than 300,000 visitors each month, with an additional 50,000 buyers signing up since it launched its market intelligence offering last October. The company said it expects revenue from its fulfillment operations to hit $300 million by the end of this year.
Other online platforms offering B2B procurement of agrifood commodities include New York-based Agro.Club — which banked $5 million in Series A funding last week — as well as Indian startups Bijak, which raised $12 million in April 2020, and WayCool, which recently announced it had surpassed ₹10 billion ($134 million) in annual recurring revenue for the first time.
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Tridge said it will use the Series C funds to further scale its fulfillment services globally in order to “meet the purchasing needs of major clients.”
This will include the setup of co-packing and warehousing facilities in 50 “strategic” countries, it said, as well as the hiring of more engagement managers and the expansion of its Seoul office’s fulfillment and platform development teams. The startup expects its employee headcount to exceed 500 by the end of this year.
Tridge said it is valued at $500 million following this latest capital injection, up from $140 million after its April 2020 Series B round — also led by Forest Partners — which “edges [us] closer to being one of South Korea’s next tech unicorns,” it said in a statement announcing the funding.
The startup’s other investors include SoftBank‘s IT-focused venture unit, SoftBank Ventures Asia, and US-based Activant Capital.
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