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Another supply chain startup lands venture-capital funding

Butter is the latest tech company that aims to digitize the manual process of wholesale ordering. It raised $9 million in a round led by Google’s Gradient Ventures.
Wholesale food warehouse
Butter is geared toward small wholesalers and their restaurant customers. / Photograph: Shutterstock

Another startup aimed at digitizing the restaurant supply chain has raised some money.

San Francisco-based Butter on Tuesday said it closed a $9 million Series A funding round led by Google’s Gradient Ventures, a fund focused on artificial intelligence.

It joins a number of tech companies that want to replace restaurants’ pen-and-paper ordering process with apps and analytics.

Butter was founded in 2020 and is aimed specifically at small food wholesalers. Co-founder and CEO Winston Chi said he was inspired by watching his dad call customers every night to collect overdue balances and make sure his wholesale business had enough goods for the next day. Butter aims to simplify this time-consuming manual process with an app.

“We created Butter to help smaller food wholesalers get access to technology and insights to scale their business effortlessly,” Chi said in a statement. “With supply chain constraints, labor shortages, and tight cash flow, these businesses need more help than ever.”

The app acts like a digital storefront for wholesalers and their restaurant customers, powering ordering, payment, inventory tracking and data insights. It can also help wholesalers comply with FDA guidelines on food traceability. 

About 6,000 California restaurants use Butter. The company did not say how many wholesalers use it. 

The company plans to use the new funding to grow its team as it looks to expand into new regions. Uncommon Capital, Notation Capital, and angel investor Jack Altman also participated in the round.

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