Supplier-retailer platform Alkemics raises €21m to fund soaring pandemic demand

By Robert Scammell

Alkemics, a French startup that connects retailers and suppliers via its omnichannel platform, has raised €21m in funding to help meet growing demand during the coronavirus pandemic.

The investment round was led by growth stage venture capitalist fund Highland Europe. Index Ventures, SEB and Cathay Innovation also contributed to the series C funding round.

Alkemics’ platform connects retailers and suppliers in the UK and France to help digitise various stages of the supplier-retailer relationship, such as product discovery, listings and sales.

For example, it connects retailers Ocado and Tesco with multinational supplier Nestle, as well as with local products.

The latest funding will also help Alkemics launch in Scandinavia, Germany and Benelux as the Covid-19 pandemic accelerates consumers’ switch to online food shopping.

Alkemics funding: Making B2B “quick, easy and interactive”

In 2016 Alkemics raised €20m and has since helped some of the largest grocery retailers digitise the commercial process with 17,000 brands. In 2019 there were more than 7.5 million messages exchanged through the startup’s platform.

“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”.

Alkemics, founded in 2012, says “analysts now expect the online grocery market to grow by 25% in 2020, having seen sales leap by 30% during April”.

“The last two months have demonstrated to everyone how retail technology is a critical part of our infrastructure,” said Tony Zappala, partner at Highland Europe.

“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 digitised 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.”

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