Alkemics the supplier-retailer collaboration platform raises €21M as online grocery sales soar
Investment will assist European grocers and FMCG suppliers to respond to the necessary digitization of commerce during and after covid-19 crisis
Alkemics to launch in Scandinavia, Germany and Benelux
Highland Europe leads latest fundraising
Paris, June 11, 2020 – Alkemics, a platform enabling brands to launch products with retailers, has raised €21 million in a Series C funding round, as it experiences soaring demand from grocers and suppliers responding to the rapid shift to omnichannel shopping.
Growth stage fund Highland Europe has joined the company’s investors, while Cathay Innovation, Index Ventures, SEB Alliance and Serena Capital have renewed their support. Analysts now expect the online grocery market to grow by 25% in 2020, having seen sales leap by 30% during April.
Since raising €20 million in 2016, Alkemics has worked with France and the UK’s largest grocery retailers (including E.Leclerc, Intermarché, Casino, Tesco and Ocado) to digitise their commercial processes with more than 17,000 brands. The platform connects retailers like Intermarché and Tesco to multinational suppliers such as Nestlé, as well as small local producers. In 2019, more than 7.5 million messages were exchanged through the platform.
Building on three years of collaboration and innovation with the company’s key clients, the Alkemics platform has digitised the different stages of supplier-retailer relations: product discovery, listing, and sales across all channels. As consumers increasingly demand very detailed information and greater transparency about the products they consume, Alkemics has proved to be the ideal tool for retailers and suppliers who need to share rich information quickly and consistently.
An ever-faster digital transformation for businesses
The COVID-19 crisis has shown how manufacturers and retailers need to be able to react and collaborate in real-time to meet consumer needs. Using Alkemics, retailers were able to rapidly source substitutes for out-of-stock products and secure new lines of supply. As pressure grew on supply chains, exacerbated by remote working, many suppliers began using the platform to start conversations with retailers and to sell their excess products.
“Our aim is to make B2B business quick, easy and interactive. Any manufacturer should be able to put a product on the market as easily as if they were posting a message on a social network, and any store should be able to find the products that consumers are looking for by simply searching through an app” explained Antoine Durieux, Co-founder and CEO of Alkemics. “The Alkemics platform is helping thousands of suppliers and retailers across Europe to work closely together, to simplify their collaboration, to speed up products go-to-market and to ensure that product data is always as transparent and up to date as possible”.
Towards a Europe-wide business platform
Already well-established in France and in the UK, Alkemics will use the new funds raised to launch in other parts of Europe, beginning with Germany, Benelux and Scandinavia.
“The last two months have demonstrated to everyone how retail technology is a critical part of our infrastructure. Alkemics’ high level of technological functionality and ultra-flexible data model can tackle all different verticals in the retail industry and is therefore able to respond rapidly and effectively to unprecedented levels of demand, at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe. As things start to return to normal, retailers and suppliers will want to continue with this new digitized collaboration through the platform, which has helped to increase their productivity as well as ensuring that the shopper has all the information they need to make an informed purchase,” Tony Zappala, Partner at Highland Europe, said.
Michel-Edouard Leclerc, President of the leading distribution network in France, E.Leclerc, said of the retail tech company (via linkedin – 12/2019): “Alkemics has understood the need for collaboration, centralisation and simplification in retail, and has truly contributed to the public good through their work! In 2019, all of E-Leclerc’s entities began using Alkemics to communicate with their suppliers (from SMEs to multinationals). And this is a true virtuous circle that benefits our consumers, as product information can also be used in consumer apps! Alkemics has become the indispensable platform for retail.”