Dot Foods Acquires ShopHero
Dot's first technology platform acquisition

Applico is very knowledgeable about technology trends especially related to platforms. They really helped us better understand platform businesses and formulate strategies to more effectively compete in this new digital environment.

Joe Tracy, CEO, Dot Foods


Applico worked with Dot Foods’ executive team to assess, capture and deploy a digital opportunity in the grocery and convenience store industry. From strategy, to deal execution and currently advising on integration efforts, Applico helps Dot Foods end-to-end on its journey to embrace new digital business models.

Client Challenge

Founded in 1960, Dot Foods is the largest foodservice two-step distribution company in the country. The food industry has been shifting to be more and more digital, and the pandemic has fast tracked such progress even further. Technology is now at the forefront of every aspect of the supply chain – including farmers, manufacturers, distributors, operators, retailers and the ultimate consumers. The Dot Foods executive team recognized that it needed to make further investments to maintain its leadership position in the core business and capture new opportunities at the same time.

Applico’s Solution and Outcome

With platform expertise and deep experience in B2B distribution, the Applico team led Dot Foods through Platform Design, which was an intensive 3-month journey to rapidly test and validate a myriad of up-and-coming digital business models. The team leveraged internal prototypes and external proof of concepts to derive true market validation for both customers and suppliers. This process helped Dot’s board and executive team reach clarity on the vision and strategies for the company.

On a blinded basis without using the enterprise’s name, Applico explored the landscape of over 250 tech startups across a variety of business models that Dot can partner with or acquire. The team executed an intensive proof-of-concept program with a short list of most promising targets and made the final recommendation to Dot on the best fit based on many parameters including technology and relevant IP, product-market fit, team, vision and culture.

Buying a tech company is very different than buying a traditional business. Applico’s team of entrepreneurs and M&A professionals led the deal execution phase on behalf of Dot to acquire ShopHero, including negotiating on the optimal deal structure and performing due diligence. ShopHero is a leading grocery-focused eCommerce technology company. This transaction was Dot Foods’ first technology acquisition in its 60-year history.

Post transaction, the real work begins with integration. ShopHero needs to tap into the enterprise’s scale which can be difficult to navigate with many competing priorities. Applico continues to assist Dot Foods on how to move faster and achieve scale, helping to ensure the ultimate success of ShopHero.

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