Thailand’s B2B online marketplace for food businesses Freshket announced on Sunday that it has raised a six-digit US dollar first round of venture capital (VC) funding, according to a report by Dealstreet Asia.

The Bangkok-based startup raised the funding from 500 Tuk Tuks and an undisclosed corporate VC fund of a leading agricultural firm in Thailand.

Freshket founder and CEO Ponglada Paniangwet stated that the startup plans to use the funding to develop its platform, which was soft-launched in January.

“We will focus on expanding the market in Bangkok and big cities in Thailand this year. Then, if everything is on track, we may foray into Vietnam and Indonesia as the next destinations,” she said.

She cited data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation, which revealed the total value of fresh food market in Southeast Asia to worth around US$350 billion, with Thailand’s share accounting for only US$50 billion.

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The Freshket platform itself is an online marketplace that matches fresh food suppliers and restaurants. It also provides a workflow system to make their dealings more efficient and easier.

Paniangwet started the company based on her previous experience as a fresh food supplier, during which she spent four hours every night in filling out the order forms for only ten customers.

She then tested the market by opening Freshket on Facebook; Soon after, about 500 restaurants and 100 suppliers registered within 48 hours. Freshket eventually joined the DTAC Accelerate Programme in 2016.

Freshket claimed to have had 20 suppliers with 2,000 items and 50 restaurants on the platform as of January 10. The startup targets to have around 800 restaurants and 250 suppliers by end of this year.

Over the next six months, it is also looking to partner with third-party logistics provider to facilitate small-sized suppliers who do not have their own logistics support.

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