Cheetah announced today that it has raised a $36 million Series B round of funding for its marketplace that allows consumers and small businesses to shop for groceries and other supplies direct from wholesale suppliers. The round was led by Eclipse Ventures, with participation from ICONIQ Capital, Hanaco Ventures, and Floodgate Fund. This brings the total amount of funding raised by Cheetah to $66 million.
Consumers looking for an alternate place to buy groceries and other supplies can download the Cheetah app, shop in its marketplace, and then go to a designated pickup point where orders are delivered into the back of their car, no contact necessary. Right now, Cheetah is only available in certain parts of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Connecting consumers with restaurant suppliers has become quite the trend during this COVID-19 pandemic. With supermarkets running low on items and the difficulties shoppers have finding a convenient delivery times, entrepreneurial startups are activating other parts of the food supply chain like wholesalers.
Cheetah is the latest such company that has shifted from strictly B2B for restaurants to D2C. Pepper, DineMarket and Choco all offer similar services. Of those Pepper and DineMarket are only available in the New York area, and earlier this month Choco raised $30.2 million (it has raised $71.5 million to date).
As I wrote yesterday, I’m curious to see if this consumer shopping from wholesalers becomes the new normal once the coronavirus outbreak recedes. Both Cheetah and Choco (which is fun to say out loud), have raised big money and are going to need to scale their businesses to get a return for investors.
Even though restaurants in some parts of the country are re-opening, they are doing so at a greatly reduced seating capacity (50 – 25 percent). Even then, questions remain as to how much people will want to even go into restaurants. Sure, there will still be restaurant delivery, but that can get expensive real quick, and a nation still recovering from a depressed economy may choose to make more economical meals at home. Which means more shopping in bulk, which means buying from wholesale suppliers might make more sense.