Agri-tech startup, Produze launches to address $143b market
UAE-based Produze raises $2.6m in seed funding to build its procurement and distribution capabilities and building the cross border supply chain tech platform. The company enables retailers to procure directly from producers from its country of source, enabling quality, competitive pricing, fulfillment and just-in-time delivery. The startup digitizes procurement operations through a wide network of source producers, digitized exporting operations, importing operations and last mile logistics.
Ben Mathew, Co-founder & CEO at Produze pointed out that “cross border supply chain for agri-produce is fragmented with several intermediaries and poorly managed processes, which creates inconsistency in quality, inefficient prices and wastage - leading to loss in value for the retailers and distributors. At Produze, we’re enabling seamless commerce between the retailers and these agri-producers to return this wasted value back to them.”
He pointed out that only 2 of its of top 50 retailers and brands procure directly from source. The rest procure locally from the local distributors/importers who procure from exporters who procure from producers. This leads to the retailers and brands getting inconsistent quality and bad prices. Produze provides direct access to producers for everyone through a tech transparent platform, enabling consistent quality and good prices.
Produze will serve multiple agri-produce categories in Middle East, North America and Europe. According to Mathew, the company’s focus categories and crops covers a $143B market out of a larger $550b as per FAO. The company currently sources from India, but plans to expand its sources to 15 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America.
Mathew added, “The Middle East has been a big strategic focus for Produze. UAE for instance is a dynamic and globalized market relying significantly on imports for food needs of an expanding population, where citizens and residents seek premium and uncompromised food quality at competitive prices. We are committed to bringing the benefits of technology and source producers access to enable retailers to get consistent quality, better prices and complete just-in-time fulfillment.”