Venture Catalyst Incorporated, a venture services provider and incubator for emerging businesses, today announced a strategic investment in Los Angeles-based eFresh, Inc. (www.efresh.com), a branded distributor of fresh seafood and other fresh food products via the Internet. VCAT led the Series A investment round and its Managing Director, Evan Anderson, will serve on eFresh, Inc.’s Board of Directors.
eFresh.com, via its online presence, enables restaurants and other food-service industries to buy fresh seafood and other fresh food products on a nationwide basis. Unlike many online food “exchanges,” eFresh.com is building a new brand focused on a direct relationship with its customers. By interacting directly with eFresh.com, buyers can be assured of inherently higher quality, faster delivery, and a more reliable and consistent distribution process.
“We believe that eFresh.com is implementing a clear and focused strategy to claim a significant share of the fresh food service marketplace,” stated Sanjay Sabnani, President of VCAT. “The company’s depth of management and advisors, who have extensive experience in the fresh food industry, contributed to our decision to invest. Additionally, eFresh.com has hit the ground running by partnering with Internet and traditional infrastructure leaders to implement its business plan.”
eFresh.com, operating in the $141 billion U.S. food service industry, will concentrate initially on the highly fragmented fresh seafood market, which accounts for about $4.65 billion annually. eFresh.com has developed a new streamlined marketplace to ensure faster selection, order processing, and distribution for suppliers, restaurants and retailers seeking to protect the value and quality of their products.
Sabnani continued, “The fact that the majority of national food service distributors handle only frozen seafood products creates a tremendous market opportunity for eFresh.com. Although there are about 3,000 independent wholesale fresh seafood distributors, none of them operate on a significantly national scale, mainly because of the fragile nature of fresh seafood.”
Anderson stated, “Because timely distribution is essential with any perishable, eFresh’s business model is an excellent utilization of Internet transactional efficiencies.”
“VCAT is a natural investment partner for us and we welcome their participation in what will be the most consistent and well-structured fresh food distributor on the Web,” stated Charles Martin, co-founder of eFresh.com. “As we continue to build our company and introduce merchants of fresh foods across the country to our services, we look forward to VCAT’s continued assistance. They have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to provide tools that fulfill the essential needs of early-stage companies.”
eFresh.com has partnered with a roster of companies that will further its goals of ensuring the best product quality, speed, and reliability of operations. These partners include: i2 Technologies, Inc., which has designed and implemented eFresh.com’s premium supply chain management system, Federal Express, which handles eFresh.com’s distribution and logistics, and The Food Group, a marketing and communications company that is the food service division of WPP Group, PLC, parent company of J Walter Thompson.
About Venture Catalyst Incorporated
Venture Catalyst Incorporated (www.vcat.com) provides venture services to support and facilitate the development of emerging businesses. VCAT acts as an entrepreneur’s ally in identifying, organizing, capitalizing and growing businesses at a faster rate. VCAT’s team of experts offer comprehensive Web development services, investor relations, public relations and marketing, strategic planning, executive recruitment, infrastructure, state-of-the-art incubation facilities, and professional and technical expertise. A public company since 1995, VCAT has offices in San Diego, Orange County and Santa Monica.
For more information about VCAT, please call Investor Contact: Sanjay Sabnani, Venture Catalyst (firstname.lastname@example.org); or Media Contacts: Angelyn Lechman, Venture Catalyst (email@example.com), or Nicole Blake, Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Except for historical information contained within, this release includes certain forward-looking statements and projections, including the statements of Sanjay Sabnani, VCAT’s President and Chief Operating Officer, and Evan Anderson, VCAT’s Managing Director. These statements, which relate to VCAT’s intentions and the fresh food delivery market, are based on management’s belief, as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to, management. The statements regarding eFresh.com, Inc. or those of Mr. Martin are not a projection or assessment by or on behalf of VCAT. The descriptions of eFresh.com were obtained from eFresh.com and are not those of VCAT. While VCAT believes that its expectations are based upon reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurances that VCAT’s plans, objectives and financial goals will be realized. Numerous factors (including risks and uncertainties) may affect VCAT’s actual results and may cause its plans and objectives to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of VCAT. Some of these factors include the ability of eFresh.com to implement its business plan and achieve financial success; the ability of VCAT to execute its growth strategies; and other factors detailed in VCAT’s Form 10-KSB, Forms 10-QSB and other reports filed pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.