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PartnerSlate, an online marketplace connecting food brands and contract manufacturers (co-mans), announces that it raised a $4-million round led by Supply Change Capital. The funding will accelerate the growth of its online marketplace digitizing the $200-billion food and beverage contract manufacturing industry.
CPG brands that list in the marketplace get matched to nearly 6,000 co-mans in PartnerSlate’s database, which covers North America. Co-mans are able to search marketplace listings to find projects with requirements matching their specific equipment, capabilities, risk appetite and capacity. PartnerSlate says it has helped brands connect to co-mans for over $1 billion dollars in GMV (food produced).
“PartnerSlate can cut a brand’s search for the right co-man from months to days,” says Vince Tseng, PartnerSlate’s co-founder and CEO. “Our approach replaces cold-calling with data science, helping both parties save hundreds of hours of following mismatched leads to dead ends.” Prior to PartnerSlate, Tseng used the same approach to build a repair vendor matching platform as chief services officer at SquareTrade, which Allstate acquired for $1.4 billion in 2017.
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Food consumer packaged goods (CPG) is a $1-trillion-plus US industry that has undergone many changes in the last decade. Around 30,000 new CPG products launch in the US each year according to Nielsen IQ, and hundreds of them are listed on the PartnerSlate marketplace every month, according to the company.
Innovations in retail and direct-to-consumer distribution have lowered barriers to entry for new products, while snacking, plant-based diets and the demand for global flavors are here to stay. But finding the right manufacturing partner can take 12 months or longer, and delay products from getting to market.
“We are thrilled to be leading PartnerSlate’s round.” says Shayna Harris, managing partner at Supply Change Capital and PartnerSlate board member. “Finding the right manufacturing partner is a bottleneck for both emergent CPG businesses and incumbent brands looking to adapt to changing consumer tastes.”
PartnerSlate plans to use its new funding to expand project management features to help expedite projects through production and to invest in sales and marketing.
“We’ve seen a 3x growth in projects since our beta launch 4 months ago,” says Matt Suggs, co-founder and chief business officer at PartnerSlate. “Startups love that we can find the right-sized partners, Fortune 500 brands appreciate the breadth and speed of our network, and co-mans like that we are a one-stop shop to streamline business development.”
“PartnerSlate has transformed our ability to get new customers,” says Rob Hannusch, sales director at Thermal Kitchen, a Florida-based co-man. “It’s a great delivery service for high quality leads. We’re now working with multiple customers through PartnerSlate, and it’s been invaluable in helping us hit our 2023 growth goals.”
Additional investors joining the round included Cleveland Ave, ResilienceVC, Pacific Fin Capital, Mentors fund, Newlin VC, and the MBA fund.
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