Secai Marche, a Japan- and Malaysia-based farm-direct platform, has announced it raised about US$1.6 million (210 million Japanese yen) in Series A funding.
The round was led by The Agribusiness Investment and Consultation Co., Spiral Ventures Asia Fund I, and Beyond Next Ventures.
Secai Marche is a B2B farm-to-table fulfilment platform. Headquartered in Japan, it also operates in Southeast Asia.
Previously, Secai Marche had closed a US$1.4 million seed round and US$1.5 million pre-series A funding, bringing the startup’s total raised so far to US$4.5 million.
According to TechCrunch, the fresh funds will go towards developing Secai Marche’s demand forecast system and optimising its truck routing as it expands its service areas.
Connecting farms to kitchens
Described as a “one-stop platform”, Secai Marche is an online marketplace that connects farmers with restaurants in Japan and Malaysia.
Malaysian farmers that it works with include Momo Fresh Farm, NonehCekgu MD2 Pineapple, Nian Feng Plantation, Foliage Micro Greens, LK Fresh Eggs, Weeds and More, and XKH Farm.
According to its website, more than 400 hotels and restaurants are using its platform. This includes familiar names such as Huckleberry, GSC, EQ, Dewakan, Marini’s on 57, and more.
Its partners also include various grocery stores such as Jaya Grocer and AEON.
“Our mission is to help build more economically viable and sustainable small-scale farms all over the world through improved access to good and delicious food,” its website shared.
Reaching Southeast Asian farmers
Secai Marche founder Ami Sugiyama told TechCrunch that while the food service distribution industry in Southeast Asia is large, it’s also “highly fragmented and inefficient”.
Thus, Secai Marche aims to help streamline the supply chain through its in-house software which involves warehouse management and demand forecast systems.
“The warehouse management and fulfilment system is designed to optimise the supply chain and maintain the lowest wastage rate of less than 1%,” Sugiyama said, according to E27.
“Now, we are ready to accelerate our expansion in SEA to service more farmers and consumers.”
Just a few days ago on January 30, EdenFarm, an Indonesian B2B platform connecting farmers to restaurants, caterers, street vendors, and startups bagged US$13.5M pre-Series B funding.
The increased interest in farm-to-table solutions will likely benefit farmers in the region, potentially advancing Malaysia’s agriculture economy as a whole.
Featured Image Credit: Ami Sugiyama, CEO of and founder of Secai Marche / Khairil Anwar, founder of NonehCekgu MD2 Pineapple