Torg, a Berlin-based market network startup, has successfully raised €2.7 million in early funding to disrupt the food and beverage sourcing industry, With the help of its AI-powered platform. This will enable buyers to identify suppliers and source items in the FoodService and private label sectors more quickly.

Lead investor Connect Ventures led the round, including participation from FoodLabs, an existing investor, and new investors, co-founder of Lanch – Jonas Meynert, Sondo, and Ventures Together. With the additional money, Torg hopes to improve its platform, grow its database of suppliers, and create more user-friendly tools that will help buyers save time and do their tasks more easily.

Established in 2022, Torg facilitates the process of finding, connecting, and working together with over 100,000 reputable, verified European food and beverage sourcing suppliers for retail and wholesale buyers. Through supplier discovery, communication, negotiation, and finance, the organization streamlines sourcing procedures to save time and money for both buyers and suppliers. With over ten times as many manufacturers as the biggest food fairs, such as Anuga and SIAL, Torg has built the largest and most enhanced database of suppliers in the food and beverage industry in just 14 months by utilizing machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Torg’s co-founder and CEO, Hans Furuseth, stated:

“It is difficult for buyers to locate new manufacturers. They rely on desktop research, poring over unreliable websites, or trade shows, which are held once a year and in which less than 10% of worldwide suppliers participate. The market is far larger than most consumers believe. We democratize private label products by expanding the market, improving supply chain transparency, and highlighting lesser-known but reliable producers. Establishing significant business ties for both sides of the market is our aim. We function somewhat like Tinder for sourcing.”

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Hans Kristian Furuseth, Ben Holdham, and Rita Kerbaj founded Torg to address the inefficiencies of the sourcing process. During their previous careers, they faced challenges in locating and vetting suppliers for private label and FoodService projects at companies such as Zalando, Delivery Hero, Just Eat Takeaway, and Farmasiet. Together, they have over 20 years of global experience in leading e-commerce, food-tech, and consulting firms. Inspired by these experiences, the team created an intuitive digital platform that substantially streamlines and improves the process, mimicking the user-friendliness of e-commerce sites they had previously led. They aim to free up buyers to concentrate on their primary duties by utilizing a range of technologies to expedite tasks that would otherwise need manual labor and a lot of time.

AI-Powered Sourcing Efficiency:

With Torg’s solution, buyers can now create a product request in two minutes and send it to hundreds of qualified manufacturers, demonstrating the revolutionary power of AI for sourcing. The platform of the organization effectively gathers information from various sources to locate, validate, and screen suppliers. Complete profiles, certifications, product capabilities, and pertinent contact details are all included in Torg’s supplier database. Without the current advances in AI, it would have been difficult to handle such vast amounts of unstructured data.

Partners Endorsements:

Sitar Teli, Partner at Connect Ventures, said:

“The reasons are obvious: in response to consumer demands for lower costs, transparency, and certifications for the food they buy, supermarkets and wholesalers are trying to take control of a larger portion of the supply chain. Torg facilitates this by developing the first digital sourcing platform for private label food and beverage, bringing sourcing decades ahead from where it is now.”

Lanch co-founder & angel investor Jonas Meynert, said:

“We were so delighted with Torg at Lanch that I had to put money into it personally. We attempted sourcing conventionally, employing consultants and agencies, but after three months we had received only three quotations, all of which were more than our desired pricing. After we tried Torg, we got 15 quotations from reputable manufacturers in two weeks, most of which were less expensive than we had anticipated. In addition to achieving excellent results, we now source everything through Torg instead of recruiting a dedicated team because of its effective tools.”

According to Till Hoelzer, Principal at FoodLabs:

“The statistics clearly show that Torg is transforming the procurement of food and beverages: more than half of Torg buyers receive bids that are 30% less than their desired price. Their platform not only lessens operational burdens but also enables the launch of superior and cheaper private-label products, meeting the growing demands of consumers. Hans and the group have created the greatest sourcing option available. We are excited to assist them in their continuous efforts to develop goods that lead the industry.”

Image Credit: Torg


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