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Atlas Venture Puts $4 Million into Euro Food Portal

Atlas Venture announced Friday an investment of $4 million in eFoodmanager, a European food trading platform due to launch in early May.

Alexander Bruehl, principal at Atlas Venture, joins the board of eFoodmanager. He commented that the European company's strong management team and neutral positioning in the supply chain could make it a dominant force in the global food market-place.

eFoodmanager says it aims to capture the top spot in Europe's food industry, having already signed 85 major participants including retail group Tengelman. It plans to launch as a truly pan-European site with English, German, Spanish, French and Italian versions.

Jan Stenger, joint managing director of eFoodmanager, said that the company has already conducted extensive trials with earlier versions of the platform, revealing "dramatic opportunities" for both buyers and sellers.

"Not only can international markets be opened up cost effectively, but process and product costs can be reduced by 10 to 30 per cent," said Stenger.

eFoodmanager will focus on the procurement needs of supermarkets, food e-tailers, producers and bulk buyers, and will develop the relationships of these groups with traders and growers.

Revealing parts of its highly ambitious business plan, eFoodmanager said it expected to capture 10 per cent of the 791.3 billion euro ($785 billion) business to business food market by year three. It will derive fees from transactions conducted on the site.

At the May launch, eFoodmanager expects to offer 2,500 food categories. Its site will have areas where buyers and sellers can trade openly or privately, while also offering auctions and services such as logistics, packaging, and insurance.

To date, eFoodmanager has established offices in Valencia, Dusseldorf, Austin (Texas) and London.