Swedish FoodTech company TradeBay is disrupting the way that buyers and sellers trade fresh fruit. Here’s why this global industry is attracting VC investment
“TradeBay is challenging a multi-billion dollar industry, which is affected by its opaque structures, that only benefit intermediaries adding risks and costs”
The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching implications on a number of global industries, with one of those being the fresh produce trade.
Valued at €100 billion in 2020, the industry, prior to 2018, was seeing steady increases year on year, however, the global pandemic has seen volumes of produce trade decline from its peak in 2018 to 87 million tons in 2020, as discussed by the recent Freshfel Europe Annual Trade Meeting, a forum for the European fresh fruit and vegetable chain.
A recent report released by the OECD, cited that the pandemic has specifically impacted the industry in terms of access to workforce, delays across the supply chain, and resulting costs associated, adding increasing pressure on growers and traders.
However, even without the burden of COVD-19, there are a number of inefficiencies within the industry.
According to the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics, the traditional fresh produce supply chain involves on average about a dozen middlemen. And with those many intermediaries involved, which come with commissions and wastage along the way, the industry is prime for disruption and a solution to find a better way of operating.
This is one of the reasons Antler has invested in TradeBay, a B2B marketplace connecting verified buyers and sellers of fruit, and enabling them to discover new market opportunities on a trusted and transparent platform.
TradeBay aims to increase the amount and speed of transactions by leveraging its large network of global partners trading directly with each other. This in turn sees commissions alone cut by at least 8%.
“TradeBay is about to revolutionize the world of fruit trading,” says Oscar S Westergård, Partner of Antler in Stockholm. “It’s a traditional, massive industry that still operates very manually, and is ripe for disruption.”
TradeBay recently closed a round of USD 1.1M led by Antler, FJLabs, and J12 Ventures/DHS to further expand and grow their global fruit trading platform and community.
The funding follows Antler’s initial pre-seed investment in the business in 2020.
“Antler also participated in this most recent round because we see a clear need for disruption in a huge global market and TradeBay is providing an important innovation to unlock a very traditional industry. The TradeBay team is truly stellar and they have shown tremendous drive and progress already, and we are confident they will continue doing so to become a global leader”, and the Stockholm team is very excited about continuing to support TradeBay,” says Westergård.
Prior to launching Tradebay, CEO and co-founder Filippa Jedeur-Palmgren spent seven years scaling international shipping and fruit trading businesses. In addition to that, she founded a smoothie bar chain dealing with fruit purchases on a daily basis, collecting actionable insights about the opportunities to be leveraged today within TradeBay.
“TradeBay is challenging a multi-billion dollar industry, which is affected by its opaque structures, that only benefit intermediaries adding risks and costs”, she says.
“Instead, we are able to empower our members worldwide giving them the financial means and digital tools they need to finally be in better control of their business and get better paid for their produce - whilst the end consumer can pay less for their bananas.
“We bring efficiency, transparency, and liquidity to the fruit trading industry, and reduce food waste as a bonus! It’s a revolution long overdue.”
TradeBay plans to further invest in growing the team and building a strong product.
This article was written by Kira Zhukova, Marketing Antler Sweden.