Instill Corp., a provider of e-business services for the foodservice industry, announced today that it has raised an additional $24.3 million (US$) in venture capital financing.
This latest round of funding brings the Palo Alto, California-based company’s total financing to $44.5 million. Chase Capital Partners led the round, which also included investors Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown and Dain Rauscher Wessells. Existing investors, such as Altos Ventures, Charles River Ventures, Ohio Partners, Piper Jaffray Ventures and The Mayfield Fund, also participated in the round.
Privately held Instill will use the new capital to pump up sales and marketing efforts, hire new people and continue to expand its e-services for the entire foodservice supply chain.
“Instill’s investors are renowned for recognizing the qualities that ultimately make companies successful,” said Mack Tilling, president of Instill Corp. “Their investments are not only an endorsement of our company direction — but also recognition of Instill’s dramatic lead in the $350 billion foodservice market.”
Introduced Web-Based Market Data
Earlier this month, Instill launched an online market data subscription service that is designed to arm foodservice manufacturers with details about their share of the market, as well as those of its competitors.
According to Instill, the benefits for subscribers are threefold:
Food manufacturers will be able to understand their competitive arena. With detailed information on trends, competitors and the effectiveness of their various promotions, these companies can better monitor their effectiveness in the marketplace.
It will be easier to identify new business opportunities. Instill’s service locates new product opportunities by supplying manufacturers with data within segments – from breaking information on sales, all the way down to individual product details.
Companies will be able to leverage sale force activities. By providing a third-party, tamper-proof review of market-share information, Instill’s report will allow manufacturers to build trust with all of its business partners — operators, distributors and brokers — and to focus sales efforts on areas of mutual value. Business-To-Business Intelligence Niche Growing
Industry observers point out that companies like Instill are on the ground floor of a business-to business information market that has great potential. Already, the food industry pumps out annual revenue of more than $350 billion.
Observers also feel that Web-based solutions to inventory control and purchasing are no longer luxuries — but necessities. Some analysts add that Instill’s latest Web-based intelligence offering is just icing on the cake.
In addition, the fact that Bestfoods, General Mills, Nestle, Perrier and Tropicana are already using Instill’s e-services could be the reason that venture capitalists keep pouring money into the company.
Nonetheless, all industry experts agree that it is only a matter of time before some of the giant players notice Instill’s success and begin copying its model.
Instill services more than 6,900 operators, including some of the world’s largest food manufacturers. The company was founded in 1993.