ImpactAlpha, July 16 – Soplaya launched in 2018 to connect local food producers to restaurant chefs. The company built a platform to streamline the business transaction as well as a logistics operation to handle collection, warehousing and delivery in the northern regions of Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto.
Then COVID hit. To help producers stay in business, it launched a home delivery service.
Soplaya’s ability to pivot quickly enabled the company to raise institutional funding amid the pandemic, co-founder Mauro Germani told ImpactAlpha. Milan-based early-stage venture capital firm P101 and CDP Venture Capital SGR-Fondo Nazionale Innovazione co-led the €3.5 million round.
Germani says Soplaya’s positive impact is two-fold: it shortens the supply-chain between where food is grown and consumed, reducing the food chain’s carbon footprint. Also, helping producers access markets outside of traditional wholesalers, which often skirt local or organic products, “increases the diversity and democratization of the food system.”
Soplaya is aiming to be in 10 Italian cities by 2022.