See the original story in Japanese.
Ho Chi Minh City-based Kamereo, the startup behind a B2B food marketplace for restaurants in Vietnam under the same name, announced today that it has raised $500,000 from Genesia Ventures in Tokyo and Velocity Ventures Vietnam (VVV). VVV is not well known in the startup scene but appears to be a Hanoi-headquartered $30 million investment fund focused on early stage startups.
Kamereo was founded back in June of 2018 by HCMC-based Japanese entrepreneur Taku Tanaka. Prior to launching the startup, he previously worked at Credit Suisse followed by joining Pizza 4Ps, one of the most popular pizza chains in Vietnam, as the Chief Operating Officer. According to Tanaka, most of restaurants in Vietnam are heavily dependent on phone calls or the Zalo chat app when placing an order of food ingredients to suppliers. Kamereo addresses this insufficiency to streamline by digitalizing interactions between restaurants and suppliers.
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Food waste may occur at some restaurants due to an unclear order from their staffers but others may have experienced their staffers intentionally order food ingredients too much to bring the surplus back home. Meanwhile, suppliers or farmers have few chances to cultivate sales channels to restaurants. Kamereo allows restaurants owners to tackle tiresome tasks, such as finding better suppliers or managing orders, and put them all on the web.
In the Vietnamese food distribution industry, there’s no intermediary wholesaler bundling multiple small-scale suppliers like that of Japan. That’s why restaurants in Vietnam are forced to interact with many small suppliers, causing the high complexity in dealing with delivery notes, invoices, and payments. In addition to helping restaurants improve their efficiency, Kamereo considers to offer payment functions so that restaurants can streamline their payments and accounting operations. Furthermore, the company also has a plan to expand into Singapore where few restaurants can afford to keep additional personnel for stock management because of high labor cost. As a benchmark they are seeing Informart (TSE:2492), the Japanese listed company operating a B2B food ordering platform which Tanaka was keeping his eyes on during his days at Credit Suisse.
In addition to the platform’s currently available functions like supplier introduction and order management functions, the Kamereo team wants to provide enterprise resource planning (ERP) for restaurants in the future. When Kamereo has been infiltrated into suppliers well, they can expect the network effects that these suppliers can introduce their client restaurants to the platform. Using the funds, the company will expand their team from 3 to 8 people, aiming to accelerate system development and gain customer success effort.