MeZ Thai Farming Marketplace Will Raise Series A Funding
Thai farming marketplace MeZ bringing together farmers online with a plan to cover vegetable and meat market is getting ready to raise Series A funding by the year end.
Thanks to the new normal following to Covid-19, purchasing orders via MeZ marketplace had double growth in April, compared to March. The pandemic has also motivated more farmers to opt for online channel.
Pornranee Budsayaplakorn, CEO of MeZ said more customers and farmers have opted for online as they were motivated by the pandemic, unlike two years ago that they were driven by startups to engage the online commerce.
“The overall fruit market in Thailand is more than 10 billion baht a year, we therefore would like to create a Thai marketplace for Thai farmers. Even though there are many marketplaces, we would like to be a one and a center of quality growers to serve users and being a distribution alternative for growers.”
Unlike other marketplace, MeZ provides a total service, taking photo, video, online marketing, product branding and taking purchasing orders for farmers.
Farmers just be informed purchasing orders in advance, then prepare and packaging the fruit ready for delivery. It normally takes no longer than two days for the fruit freshness.
Most customers are working people living in Bangkok who are too busy to go out for shopping. Top five bestseller fruits are durian, mangosteen, plango, pomelo, pomegranate, and others much more than 30 kinds from over 100 quality plantations nationwide.
There are some Chinese platforms purchasing the fruit from export, but prices are almost double lower than online retail price locally. For example, the durian for exporting is 80 baht per kilogram, but the domestic online price is 150 baht. The scale of less than 50-rai fruit plantations on the MeZ platform can provide the fruit through multi channels.
The company will have a live streaming feature as a conversation stage for the fruit growers and buyers and it will expand the marketplace into vegetable, meat, seafood together with an expansion to corporates, or business-to-business such as restaurants.
Pornranee aims to have this marketplace to raise a series A fund with a revenue of US$1 million by the end of this year. At present, the company earns revenue from gross profit sharing which is average at 15-25% covering the whole sales and total services including packaging and social media marketing.
She noted that the support by National Innovation Agency, by the ABC Center, to AgriTech has ensured recognition and business connection for startups. If the government can support the packaging operation for the growers, it will help saving the cost .
“AgriTech startups can create value added and competitiveness to the Thai agriculture which is a key economic driving sector of the country with more than 60% of population are farmers. We believe that AgriTech startups have a big opportunity to grow being a large supply chain covering from the seeds, growing, fertilizer, soil to products.