, a B2B online marketplace for food distributors, is growing. Located in the Emerging Technology Center in Canton, the company has hired 11 employees since March and will hire four more sales people by the end of the year, Founder Kash Rehman says.
Foodem supplies goods to any business with a commercial kitchen, including restaurants, hotels, schools, daycares and nonprofit organizations. For the moment, however, Rehman is focused on capturing the restaurant vertical. "We help restaurants lower their food cost [by offering tools] to comparison shop," he explains. Foodem's online platform gives buyers a choice of distributor, and, by extension, price. "[Restaurants] don't have to call multiple places to find prices."
The platform also tracks what a restaurant orders from week to week, allowing owners to see the exact cost of their purchases. "Foodem give analytics in every category, every vendor, month over month, day over day," Rehman explains. And since all orders are submitted online, "[the system] eliminates errors during the procurement process."
On the distribution side, Rehman explains, Foodem eliminates the need and associated fee of a large sales force. "There are 21,000 restaurants in this market," he says. Servicing them all creates "enormous overhead" for suppliers.
Rehman is working with 25 different suppliers, including the Capital Meat Company
, Belair Produce
, Bowie Produce
and S. Freedman and Sons
, among others. Although he is open to working with other suppliers, Rehman is not concerned about the number he currently has. "It's not how many," Rehman explains, "it's the quality that matters."
Foodem secured $600,000 in angel funding in May and is planning a Series A fund raise in early 2014. "We have a lot of interest from prominent VCs nationwide," Rehman says.
Writer: Allyson Jacob
Source: Kash Rehman