Food-X Technologies, which creates a software platform to help retailers facilitate their online grocery shopping and delivery, announced last week that it had received a $2.6 million Canadian (~$1.95M USD) from from the Digital Technology Supercluster.
The Digital Supercluster is a collaboration between the Canadian government and private businesses including Microsoft, Adaptech and AltaML. The $2.6 million is basically like a grant and there is no equity in Food-X involved. (There is also no relation to the Food X accelerator here in the U.S.)
Food-X Technologies provides a platform that helps retailers throughout the entire e-commerce process: from the integrating with consumer-facing ordering through back-end fulfillment across all food categories (frozen, fresh, etc.), to inventory management and delivery route optimization.
The company is similar to U.K.-based Ocado, which builds out massive robot-powered warehouses. In the U.S., Ocado has partnered with Kroger to build out a number of fulfillment centers across the U.S.
Food-X has been doing online grocery since its early days as a CSA in 1997. The company has grown since then and now serves Western Canada and has a partnership with Walmart for grocery fulfillment.
The new money comes at an opportune time for Food-X. The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a boom in online grocery shopping. Here in the U.S., grocery e-commerce hit $7.2 billion in sales during the month of June. Up in Canada, the CBC recently reported that online food buying is up 107 percent since the beginning of the pandemic.
As the pandemic continues to wax and wane in different parts of the world, the question now is how much of this online shopping is the new normal for people. Food-X now has a bigger warchest to find out.