The Food Assembly, (LaRucheQuiDitOui (literally, “the Hive which says Yes” in French), who provides a marketplace for farmers to sell directly to consumers, has been picking up steam around Europe, as it recently announced it will go by The Food Assembly in the UK & Germany, while remaining “Colmena que dice Sí” in Spain. The company’s efforts to internationalize have taken quite a while – I first talked with the team in October of 2012 about their search for a name that would work in Europe – but, better late than never it seems, the company has announced they will launch in June of this year.
After raising €1.5 Million in November 2012 from Xange and Siparex, The Food Assembly has now taken in €1.5 Million in Debt Equity from BNP Paribas, Caisses Des Dépôts & Paris Initiative Enterprises, according to documents obtained by Rude Baguette.
To date, The Food Assembly counts over 400 “Assemblies” around France & Belgium (and in its recently launched markets), bringing together 50,000+ people in 2013. The startup also counts 200,000 members on their online platform.
To date, most of their revenue comes from facilitating transactions between farmers and consumers. In 2013, they took in nearly €750K in revenue, facilitating over €9 Million in turnover for producers. With a cost to farmers of around 8% of their revenue, they are proposing a real scalable model for farmers, whose previous options were to whole sale, sell at markets, or sell monthly subscriptions to produce, as is popular in France.
As The Food Assembly continues to grow, it will be interesting to see if, country by country, the varying relationships between consumer and fresh produce forces The Food Assembly to adjust their business model, or their profit ratio.