Vori, a digital B2B inventory management platform that aims to optimize the grocery supply chain, has completed a $10 million Series A funding round. The capital will be used to bolster its talent acquisition pipeline, expand its U.S. operations and broaden its product offering.
Leading the funding round was The Factory, a Silicon Valley-based venture fund focused on early-stage and deeply technical startups, with participation from Greylock, E2JDJ, MKT1, and Vori flagship customer Mollie Stone's Markets, a San Francisco Bay Area family-owned grocery store chain.
“At Vori, we believe in using technology to ensure communities have access to the goods they need – starting with food,” said Brandon Hill, CEO and co-founder of East Palo Alto, Calif.-based Vori, and a 2021 Progressive Grocer GenNext Awards honoree. “To accomplish this, the playing field between small businesses and the mega-corporations needs to be leveled. I’m proud to say we are arming the rebels by providing food entrepreneurs with affordable and agnostic technology that streamlines their businesses, allowing them to stay competitive. This investment will allow us to expand our team and product to better meet the growing needs of the grocery industry, and to help our customers manage their supply chains, optimize labor, and keep up with evolving market trends and consumer needs.”
Although independent grocers make up a third of the U.S. grocery market, most can’t afford the same technology and solutions of major players such as Walmart, Kroger and Amazon use to tackle supply chain and inventory management issues – until the advent of Vori.
“We are proud to be a longtime customer of Vori, and we have greatly benefited from their innovative solutions,” said Mike Stone, CEO and founder of Mill Valley, Calif.-based Mollie Stone’s Markets. “Vori has revolutionized the way independent grocers can approach inventory management. All Mollie Stone’s Markets across the Bay Area have implemented and use Vori – improving order accuracy, shrink, labor allocation and even supplier relationships. Vori is critical to the success of independent grocers in modern times. We’re excited to see them expand their product offering and to grocers around the country.”
Vori improves retailers’ inventory management workflows by digitizing traditionally manual labor-intensive processes, undocumented knowledge and huge amounts of analog data. Its solution enables grocers to benefit from reordering stock via scanning shelf-tags, advanced technology methods to ensure order quantities and price tags complement supplier cost changes and customer purchasing patterns, and real-time data visibility within a single interface to actuate collaboration among store staff and external trading partners. These features boost productivity by decreasing the time it takes to replenish inventory by up to 80% while addressing the U.S. food waste issue that causes an annual loss of about $408 billion.
The company is currently building out a number of teams, including product, design and engineering. The investment will also support the launch of the new Vori Back Office solution, which allows grocery stores to reduce shrink and increase efficiency by digitizing manual, human error-prone and time-consuming tasks. Vori Back Office aims to achieve this by employing such features as cost change tracking, digital order management, scan-based receiving, automatic invoicing, DSD vendor management and digital credit requests.
So far, Vori has raised $15.3 million, with additional investments from Y Combinator, Village Global, South Park Commons, grocery experts from Safeway/Albertsons, and co-founders from Instacart, DoorDash and Twitch, as well as another Vori flagship customer, Good Stuff Distribution.
For this most recent funding round, Vori received legal counsel from Caine Moss, of Goodwin Procter. The law firm also provided legal counsel to The Factory and Greylock for their investment.