Pomegranate Technologies Inc., which operates UsePepper.com, has received $16 million in new working capital from Index Ventures which led the round with participation from Greylock, Imaginary Ventures, BoxGroup, Moving Capital and an individual investor.

An ecommerce services firm that aims to build market share in the food service distribution business just got a big boost from new investors to help them get there.

Pomegranate Technologies Inc., which operates UsePepper.com, has received $16 million in new working capital from Index Ventures which led the round with participation from Greylock, Imaginary Ventures, BoxGroup, Moving Capital and an individual investor.

The New York company, formed as a start-up venture in 2020, will use the new funding to add new features and functions to its ecommerce platform including more payment options and personalization, says CEO Bowie Cheung. “This funding enables us to accelerate product development in key areas such as digital payments and a product recommendation engine to grow sales,” he says.

Food distributors utilize UsePepper.com as an ecommerce platform to build a web store, mobile app, and a large online inventory of more than 100,000 products. Food service distributors use UsePepper.com to manage orders from customers such as restaurants, grocery stores and others.

Today, most order processing between food service distributors and their customers remains a manual process, says UsePepper.com.

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When restaurants and grocery stores order food from their distributors, 80% of the time they leave that order on a voicemail, with no paper trail, accessible order history, or ability to double-check orders, says UsePepper.com. 80% of payments also are made to distributors by mailed-in paper checks. “Many distributors have drawers of uncashed checks to prove it,” says UsePepper.com.

UsePepper.com says its new infusion of capital will “enhance the ordering experience for distributors servicing over 25,000 restaurants and grocery stores in the U.S. and Canada.”

“Pepper is pursuing what we think is the next big opportunity in the restaurant industry: enabling restaurants to purchase $200 billion of annual food inventory digitally instead of via phone and email,” says Index Ventures principal Damir Becirovic.

The new funding brings total funding raised to $20 million, says UsePepper.com.

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