TradeCafe, a Toronto-headquartered company offering an online platform for the trade of protein commodities, has raised new funding as the COVID-19 pandemic significantly disrupts the global food supply chain.
TradeCafe claims it has helped facilitate more than $2 billion in trade transactions to date.
The $10 million CAD investment, solely-sourced from Toronto-based Round13 Capital, brings TradeCafe’s total funding to date to $43 million. As part of the deal, John Eckert, Round13 Capital co-founder and managing partner, has joined TradeCafe’s board of directors.
TradeCafe offers an online trading platform that provides price discovery, price transparency, finance, and transaction fulfillment to global producers, processors, and distributors of physical protein commodities, which includes meat, dairy, soybeans, and legumes.
Founded in 2015, TradeCafe is used by primary producers and processors, retailers, and distributors. When goods are traded on the platform, TradeCafe makes money through their fulfilment. The company claims it has more than 1,000 corporate entities using its platform around the world, and has helped facilitate more than $2 billion in trade transactions to date.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the global food supply chain, including the trading of proteins. Reports estimate that due to the pandemic, the loss of production capacity of slaughter plants fell by 25 percent for beef, 43 percent for pork, and 15 percent for poultry.
According to RTI International, a nonprofit research organization, this decline in production has resulted in a reduction in supply, leading to higher food prices for consumers, and increased food insecurity.
Over the last year, Canada’s tech sector has mobilized to improve the food supply chain amid this industry-wide disruption. One Canadian project led by tech startup FoodMesh, aims to create an emergency food distribution network and improve the efficiency of the food supply chain. That project received federal funding through the Digital Technology Supercluster in August.
TradeCafe’s platform also allows users to create and upload trading documents, automatically generate invoices, and track products from farm to delivery point. Users can also plot pricing history to visualize market trends and manage cash flow cycles.
CEO Nicholas Walker said TradeCafe is helping many companies in protein industries during the pandemic by allowing them to access documentation on the platform while working from home.
“They don’t need to be in their office downloading time-sensitive documents, they can do it remotely, in real-time time on the platform,” Walker said.
Walker claimed that TradeCafe has seen a 25 percent increase in transaction volume, and a 40 percent increase in revenue, in the last year alone.
The new funding will be used by TradeCafe to continue its global expansion, extend the reach of its technology to new markets, and continue research and development for its trading platform.
TradeCafe is currently used in 38 countries, and Walker told BetaKit the company plans to double that, with a focus on expanding on European markets and Southeast Asia.
Image source Unsplash. Photo by CHUTTERSNAP.