Tokyo-based Kompeito, the startup that provides on-demand vegetable delivery service for office workers, called ‘Office de Yasai‘, announced today that it has partnered with and fundraised 50 million yen (or about $423,000) from Japanese mayonnaise company Kewpie Corporation (TSE:2809).
Since its launch back in April of this year, Kompeito has been providing a vegetable delivery service for office workers in central Tokyo. When a company subscribes to the service, Kompeito installs a portable fridge at the company’s office and every week stocks it with fresh vegetables. So when an office worker feels famished, they can easily buy a one-bite vegetable snack for 100 yen or 200 yen ($1 or $2) from the fridge and pay for it by dropping coins into a pot attached to the fridge. In September, Kompeito partnered with Kyoto-based delicatessen Onoue and added several side dishes to the menu for lunch.
Upon this partnership, Kompeito will expand their delivery coverage from central Tokyo to all of Japan by increasing delivery centers to 1,000 locations by April 2015, and 2,000 locations by end of 2015. They will also receive assistance from Kewpie in cultivating procurement channels from farmers and product developers. Kewpie will explore distribution channels other than conventional food retailing through the partnership.
Kompeito qualified for the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s startup nurturing program and won a 10 million yen ($84,600) grant from the government this year, while securing funds of an undisclosed sum from Incubate Fund in July. The company also receives hands-on business support from Japanese recipe site Cookpad (TSE:2193).
In terms of creating interactive opportunities between consumers and farmers, Kompeito takes a typical startup approach to disrupt conventional farm product distribution systems, similarly to Farmly, a new startup born out of the first batch of Founder Institute Tokyo.