In a fast-paced environment, every industry needs to realign according to the trend including the biggest industry in the world – consumer products. A lot of manufacturers and retailers face challenges to meet evolving consumer needs including matching supply and demand, achieving operational excellence to accelerate time-to-market, and providing customers with an omnichannel and personalised shopping experience.
Raised €21 million!
Based out of Paris, Alkemics is a collaboration platform that helps brands and retailers to digitise, collect, and share product data in one single secured place. The supplier-retailer collaboration platform has raised €21 million in a Series C funding round led by the Growth stage fund Highland Europe. Other investors including Cathay Innovation, Index Ventures, SEB Alliance, and Serena Capital have participated in the round.
The company raised funds as it experiences soaring demand from grocers and suppliers responding to the rapid shift to omnichannel shopping. Back in September 2016, Alkemics raised €20 million from Cathay Innovation and Serena. Alkemics will use the new funds raised to launch in other parts of Europe, beginning with Germany, Benelux, and Scandinavia.
Antoine Durieux, Co-founder and CEO of Alkemics, explained, “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. 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”.
Worked with France and the UK’s largest grocery retailers
Since then, they worked with France and the UK’s largest grocery retailers (including E.Leclerc, Intermarché, Casino, Tesco, and Ocado) to digitise their commercial processes with more than 17,000 brands. The platform has digitised the different stages of supplier-retailer relations: product discovery, listing, and sales across all channels.
The platform connects retailers like Intermarché and Tesco to multinational suppliers such as Nestlé, as well as small local producers. In 2019, more than 7.5 million messages were exchanged through the platform.
According to the company, many retailers were able to rapidly source substitutes for out-of-stock products and secure new lines of supply using the platform amid the COVID-19 crisis. As pressure grew on supply chains, exacerbated by remote working, many suppliers began using the platform to start conversations with retailers and to sell their excess products.
Tony Zappala, Partner at Highland Europe, said: “The last two months have demonstrated to everyone how retail technology is a critical part of our infrastructure. 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 digitized 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.”
Main image credits: Alkemics
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