Alima aims to build a perishable food supply chain in Latin America • TechCrunch

on whata Mexico-based supply chain startup, has raised $1.5 million in new funding to continue developing data-driven tools for companies to source and deliver the products they need directly to them.

Co-founder and CEO Jorge Vizcayno told TechCrunch that buying in Latin America is complex and expensive today. He explained that restaurants, hotels and catering companies usually have to go to crowded markets, negotiate with multiple vendors, check the quality of products and arrange transportation – often having to drive for hours to pick them up themselves.

On the other hand, farmers and distributors face uncertainty about the quality of their produce once they leave their facilities, with enough quantity to meet demand and whether they are getting a fair price.

The Fresh produce market in Mexico It’s expected to grow by $4 billion over the next four years, so Vizcayno and co-founder Blanca Espinosa started Alima in June 2021 to help solve these issues in anticipation of that growth.

Vizcayno’s background lies in mechatronics, machine learning and data science, he co-founded Tuibo, a smart wearable device for cyclists, and was the former chief technology officer of Byprice, a price comparison platform in Mexico, prior to forming Alima. Espinosa, Alima’s Chief Marketing Officer, has previously held growth and marketing positions with Coca-Cola FEMSA, Amazon and Uber.

The Alima platform digitizes and improves purchasing, transportation, and traceability with AI and analytics integration so that less food is spoiled. Now instead of going to the market every morning, businesses can order items as late as 10pm and have them delivered to their stores by 7am.

The company currently offers 800 product SKUs, but Espinosa says Alima is willing to do the homework for customers so they don’t have to go to more than one place to find items.

Supply Chain for Alima Products

Supply Chain for Alima Products

“Our philosophy is that if we don’t have it, we’ll find it,” she said. “If a fine dining restaurant needs something special, we look for a good supplier. It takes less than three days in some cases to find what they want, and then we get it. This flexibility in our catalog and SKU is something we’ve never seen before. “.

Features also include tax billing, payments, reimbursement, and spending tracking. For farmers and distributors, this method reduces the number of “links” in the supply chain and provides better price transparency.

Vizcayno contacts Frubana, a Colombia-based company that connects restaurants with suppliers, Alima’s closest competitor. However, rather than being a “one-stop shop” as Frubana describes itself, Alima is solely focused on the supply chain niche.

“We are aiming for full vertical integration,” he said. “This can only be achieved by focusing on one category and scaling the value proposition across multiple distribution channels.”

Now, armed with $1.5 million in new funding, the company will be able to expand its operations. The funding was led by Soma Capital, Y Combinator (the company was in the Winter 22 group), The Dorm Room Fund, Seed9, Pareto, and a group of angel investors.

Alima 10x revenue has grown since January and continues to grow every month in double digits. It currently operates with 600 clients, and Vizcayno expects to nearly triple the number of clients by the beginning of the year.

The company started last year with restaurants and hotels and is now expanding to include schools, hospitals and CPG factories. The plans include retailers and export trade, as well as adding food items that companies such as meat market chains are looking for, Vizcino added.

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